PLANNING | High Street back on Manchester agenda

CEG’s £96m proposal opposite the Arndale Centre will return to Manchester’s planning committee next week, along with a hotel at Pearl Assurance House and Capital & Centric’s striking proposals at Adair Street.

The plans at 20-36 High Street were due to go before committee in July but CEG asked for a deferral to allow it to refine the proposals to deliver affordable housing. Similarly, Pearl Assurance House due at committee last month but a decision was delayed pending a site visit.


20-36 High Street

High Street Manchester

Number of apartments: 361

Number of storeys: 22

Retail and leisure space: 12,000 sq ft

Architect: Feilden Clegg Bradley

Planner: Deloitte

Developer: CEG

CEG’s plans are the committee’s agenda for the third time; after first being deferred pending a site visit in June, the developer asked for a further deferral last month.

The proposal will the demolition of a 1960’s block on High Street, and the construction of a 22-storey building with apartments on the upper floors, along with retail and leisure units at street level.  There is also a proposed atrium and walkway running through the building.

The market street stalls at street level of the proposed site, including operators Northern Soul Grilled Cheese and Jerk Shack, are to be relocated closer to the NCP Car Park.

A number of councillors had voiced their displeasure at CEG’s designs, but planning officers said members should be minded to approve the scheme, arguing the project would “establish a sense of place, would be visually attractive, sympathetic to local character and would optimise the use of the site.”

Councillors had also criticised the scheme for its “lack of affordable housing”; objections put forward argued there was a “pressing need” for affordable home and that the planning committee “cannot keep allowing developers to profit without adequately addressing this”.

CEG has proposed a £1m contribution towards off-site affordable housing as part of the project but said the benchmark land value of £8.6m together with build costs of £78.4m meant that on-site affordable housing could not be supported.

This view has been supported by planning officers ahead of next week’s committee.


Adair Street

Adair Street Hotel

Developer: Capital & Centric

Operator: Leonardo Hotels

Storeys: 13

Bedrooms: 275

Architect: Stephenson Studio

Contractor: Bowmer + Kirkland

Planner: Avison Young

The 110,000 sq ft hotel is on the corner of Adair Street and Great Ancoats Street, near Capital & Centric’s Crusader Mill and within the Portugal Street East regeneration framework.

Place North West revealed in August Bowmer + Kirkland had been appointed to the scheme with demolition works already under way; a green light at next week’s planning committee will allow construction to begin in earnest.

Recommending approval, planning officers said: “The development would deliver a high-quality building and regenerate a site which is principally characterised by a poor-quality environment.

“The site is considered to be capable of accommodating a building of the scale and massing and has is a design quality appropriate to the sites gateway location.”

Pearl Assurance House

Pearl Assurance House Planning Cgi

Number of rooms: 70

Number of storeys: 7

Agent and planning architect: Stephenson Studio

Architect: Leach Rhodes Walker

Developer: Greenlane Properties

Operator: Malmaison

The proposal for the conversion of the vacant office building Pearl Assurance House on Princess Street facing Manchester Town Hall was deferred for a site visit last month, despite a recommendation to approve from officers.

The 70-room hotel is to include a seven-storey extension to the rear of the site, and a two storey-extension replacing the existing sixth floor to create a rooftop bar.

Recommending planning approval, officers said: “The development would not have a significant detrimental impact on the settings of surrounding listed buildings, including the grade one-listed Town Hall and the grade two-star-listed Old Law Library.

“The impact on residential amenity would not be unusual in this context. It would enhance a non-designed heritage asset within a conservation area.”

Your Comments

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these should all be approved

By Anonymous

Agree with the first comment, all should be approved, High Street and Leonardo are both fantastic proposals and will really enhance their areas.

By Bob

I second that!

By Observer

Here’s hoping they all get approved. All three are great schemes! Love the High St and Adair St designs especially

By Steve

Three of the best proposals of the year so far…hope they all go ahead

By Anonymous

What’s happened to Manchester Council recently? They have been developer-friendly for many years (I know some would argue too friendly), but it seems in the past 12 months the pendulum has swung the other way.

I’m not sure it makes sense to turn down a £96m investment because there is no affordable housing on site – especially when an off-site contribution is being offered. Further, developers invest to make a profit – isn’t that how all businesses work? Would the council rather the developer not invest and the old 60s block be left there instead? How would that achieve affordable homes?

Also is it right that affordable homes should be available in prime city centre locations, when I myself – a hard working tax payer (comfortable but not wealthy) – can not afford to live there?


@ GQ – Only in the Piccadilly ward as the loony part of Labour have managed to get themselves in there. 3 charlatans with no previous experience, who never respond to emails if you have a different opinion to them. Will hopefully change to a LIbdem seat at the next local elections

By Bob

GQ – if there were more affordable homes in the City Centre then you would be able to afford to live there. That’s the point. I think you’re confusing affordable housing with housing for people who do not work or otherwise contribute to society.

By NWPlanner

Could someone briefly outline the difference between ‘minded to approve’ and ‘recommended to approve’ for me please

By George

All excellent. High Street is amazing.

By Elephant

The High Street and Leonardo hotel are two of the best schemes proposed in Manchester for years refusing them would be madness.

By Lenny1968

It’s about time, I hope they are not rabbit hutches, but large enough to accommodate families too.

By Unimpressed

Numpties on the planning committee klaxon.


Once again destroying our history, they will soon move onto NQ.

By Dann

@Dann – Destroying what history exactly? High Street will replace an absolutely disgraceful 60’s monstrosity…Leonardo Hotel replaces an industrial unit and the Malmaison is improving a very unattractive office of no architectural merit….the only thing these developments will do is improve the City Centre

By Steve

In my opinion, the council would be fools not to approve the High Street scheme from CEG. This would be a massive transformation for the whole area and could be a catalyst for further development there.

By Cheshire boy

All look great but I can’t help but think the design of the Leonardo hotel whilst I like might have issues with the way rain water will run off it’s various levels. Last thing you would want is for unsightly stains on a pale building

By Tomo

Shame that CEG will most likely flip it once consent achieved.


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