PLANNING I St Michael’s goes to committee for decision

Ahead of Manchester’s March planning committee, officers have reported they are minded to approve the reworked proposal for St Michael’s, the controversial scheme spearheaded by a 40-storey tower in the city’s civic quarter.

The project, if passed by committee, will be considered by the Department for Housing, Communities & Local Government as to whether it should be called in for a public inquiry.

In concluding their report, officers said the judgment was finely balanced, “as the impacts on the historic environment are high, as are the public benefits”.

However, “having considered all of these matters very carefully, officers do believe that the public benefits would outweigh the significant harm that would occur”. Significant weight was apportioned to the Jacksons Row Strategic Regeneration Framework.

Opposition to the scheme has been less strident than to its previous iteration. The original two-tower plans attracted a 4,000-signature petition and 1,613 letters, 1,520 of them objecting. St Michael’s director Gary Neville asked for consideration of the proposals to be paused.

Since Hodder + Partners took over last summer, a concerted effort has been made on consultation. The reworked proposals, with the main changes being the reduction to one tower and the retention of the Bootle Street police station frontage and Sir Ralph Abercromby pub, have only attracted 191 letters, although the majority of those remain in opposition.

Also opposed were the council’s Conservation Areas & Historic Buildings Panel, which while welcoming the changes, still believe it to be too dominant. Heritage watchdog Historic England, as previously recorded, feel unable to support it.


St Michael’s

New St Michael's

Developer: Jacksons Row Developments

Architect: Hodder + Partners

Planner: Zerum Consult

Storeys: 40 and 11

Scheme: The proposals by the St Michael’s team, which includes Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs, Brendan Flood, Manchester City Council, Beijing Construction Engineering Group and Singaporean investor Rowsley, include a 216-bedroom five-star hotel, 147,690 sq ft of offices and 189 apartments, conferencing facilities, a synagogue, restaurants and a public square.


Great Northern

Great Northern Warehouse 3

Developer: Trilogy Real Estate and Peterson

Architect: SimpsonHaugh & Partners

Planner: Deloitte Real Estate

Apartments: 142

Scheme: The £300m project includes a listed building consent as the developers look to rework the Great Northern warehouse into a scheme offering 22,000 sq ft of food and beverage space, 3,000 sq ft of retail, a 17,000 sq ft gym, a redesigned Great Northern Square and a new pedestrian street, named Dean Street. The consent covers two phases, but not the redevelopment of the 2000-built Leisure Box.

Energy centre for Civic Quarter Heat Network

40494971832 7cd2198ed2 H

Developer: Vital Energi

Architect: Tonkin Liu, with Arup as engineer

Planner: Turley

Scheme: The £18m scheme comprises a combined heat and power energy centre and accompanying Tower of Light, next to Manchester Central, which will power a series of key civic and commercial buildings in the area.

River Street

River Street Jan 2017

Developer: Downing Students

Architect: SimpsonHaugh & Partners

Planner: Deloitte Real Estate

Storeys: 32, 10 and 5

Bed spaces: 802

Scheme: The site next to the Mancunian Way is currently occupied by a six-storey concrete frame and previously had consent for a 42-storey tower including 600 apartments. It was acquired by Downing in November last year.

Didsbury High School

Didsbury High

Developer: The Laurus Trust

Architect: Pozzoni Architecture

Scheme: The secondary school and sixth form, due to open in September 2019, will cater for 1,350 students. It is proposed as a free school by the Laurus Trust, which runs Cheadle Hulme High School. The site has had outline consents for offices, then residential and a hotel but has largely remained vacant save for the One Disbury Point office building fronting Princess Road and The Boulevard. It was formerly part of the Withington Hospital complex. The proposal includes a four-storey school building, sports hall, grass pitch and multi-use games area.

Your Comments

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I love the proposals for the Great Northern Square, I hope they come to fruition.

By .

All good apart from the dreaded St Michael’s which is still far too imposing and will be an eyesore very quickly due to it’s retro design.

By Steve

I agree with By. I like the River street scheme too. Very simple.

By Elephant

What’s the main image? Is that associated with St Michael’s?

By Anonymous

Yes, the number of written objections may be lower, but 94% of respondents to public consultation on iteration of St Michaels oppose it. And almost 5000 people have signed a petition for an independent Planning Inspector to be appointed. I would hardly say that’s not strident. Mor eimportantly, it’s a stark illustration in the general public’s loss of faith in the ability of MCC Planning to remain objective and impartial on this proposal.

By MancLad

Given the way recent planning committee’s have gone, aside from the major issues over design I’m sure affordable housing provision will be a key discussion point on St Michael’s scheme amongst members. Hopefully Gary ‘man of the people’ will put his hand in his pocket and make some contributions.

By Bday

SimsponHaugh must be p1ssing themselves at thier ability to draw the same basic rectangle at different scales, with slightly different cladding and to keep getting paid for it over and over again by developers. And for it to keep getting approved! I cannot think of a less imaginative achitectural practice.

By Anonymous

The St Michael’s CGI looks like some kind of cross between Escher and Hieronymus Bosch. Scary.

By LEighteen

Congratulations Manchester, the pace of progress is impressive.

By Gary

There should be an immediate halt to any more building … let manchester breath a little 4 a while … mc councils wisdom baffles me .. 5g towers no planning app needed it seems .. n what n how does a ailly white heater work anywayz .. please explain ??er please can u actually fix … OUR local nhs no road network no doctors no local parks no local cummunity problems no homeless no cracked pavements no .. yey NEW buildings YES .. i mean .. who are what is the money coming from .. ??

By Matthew

Matthew, you do realise it’s not the council funding these developments right? Maybe go back to the MEN comments sections…

By Anonymous

Matthew. It’s not Manchester Council who are building or funding most of these schemes however the income generated from rates etc. from new development helps the council pay for their services. Ironically by refusing planning permission they are refusing additional income to their beleaguered coffers which must make planning decisions difficult.

By sad

Why is the school going to be called ‘Didsbury High School’ when it is in Withington?

By Lesley Kincey

@Lesley – presumably so all those that live in Withington (and Burnage) that define reality and tell people they’re in didsbury will feel better

By Barry

Still hate the St Michaels scheme, totally out of place.

By Nic Mccoy

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