PLANNING | Committee pushes back on Meininger hotel
Meininger’s application for a 212-bedroom hotel on Great Ancoats Street will return to Manchester’s planning committee next month after councillors were minded to refuse the project, while an application for a secondary school in Withington was approved.
The hotel operator, working with developer S Harrison and architect 3DReid, said that the provision of a hotel on Great Ancoats Street would “continue the regeneration in the area and draw further footfall.” Planning officers had also recommended the scheme be approved ahead of yesterday’s committee.
However, Cllr John Flanagan raised the issue regarding a lack of car spaces, most notably a lack of accessible spaces for people who are disabled: “For a facility of this size, the lack of car parking spaces for disabled people would dissuade people with different abilities from working there.”
Manchester City Council’s planning development manager Dave Roscoe said that the small provision of overall car parking spaces is part of a wider move “to positively discourage car parking and encourage people to use more sustainable modes of transport that are in close distance to the scheme.”
Cllr Flanagan argued access would still be limited for people with disabilities, and that this lack of provision was “a shame because I’m 99% in favour of the scheme, but I’m still minded to refuse in order to find a solution.”
The committee agreed a ‘minded to refuse’ verdict on the application; the scheme will go back to the committee with more information at the Council’s final planning committee meeting of 2019 on 19 December, where a final decision will be made.
Meininger had initially planned to start work on site in 2020 with completion set for 2022.
The proposal for a 101,500 sq ft secondary school in Withington was however approved, with local councillors “supportive of the scheme.”
Cllr Mandie Shilton Godwin, Cllr Dave Rawson and Cllr Joanna Midgley said that the planning consultants on the scheme WYG had been receptive to their concerns and those of the residents in the local area.
Traffic was a concern for councillors and local residents, but traffic regulations including additional street-to-pavement fencing, bus stop upgrades, a new cycleway and passenger lane, and a designated drop off zone along with new street lighting, should help to mitigate additional traffic.
The site is currently in use by the Greater Manchester police as a police dog training area, horse paddock, and sports pitches. The proposed development includes the reprovision of the horse paddock and dog training area for the police to the north of the school boundary.
Bam is the main contractor attached to the development, and Pozzoni is the architect.