PLANNING | Speakers House refused, Debenhams approved
A proposed 135,000 sq ft office building on Deansgate were knocked back by Manchester City Council, while the conversion of the Rylands building on Market Street into an office-led mixed-use development was given the green light.
Meanwhile, Marshall CDP’s One City Road, a 370,000 sq ft office development, was approved, as was the city council’s memorial to the victims of the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing, while controversial proposals for a 55-storey student accommodation tower were deferred.
Developer: AM Alpha
Architect: Jeffrey Bell Architects
Project: The £68.5m proposal includes 70,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space on the ground floor of the grade two-listed building, including a retail arcade accessed from High Street, and 258,000 sq ft of offices on the upper three floors. Plans also include a four-storey rooftop extension featuring a further 40,000 sq ft of offices, and a winter garden on the sixth floor.
Part of the building will be demolished to create an atrium, providing natural light across the second to seventh floors. The entire building is currently leased by Debenhams, which continues to trade, but floors five to seven are largely unused.
Manchester city Council planning officers said: “Putting heritage assets to a viable use leads to investment in their maintenance and supports their long-term conservation,” arguing that this outweighs harmful elements of the scheme.
Stephen Levrant Heritage Architecture is also on the professional team.
Katie Wray, assistant director at Deloitte, said: “The Rylands Building is a heritage asset at the very heart of Manchester city centre that is well-loved by visitors to the city and Mancunians alike.
“The granting of planning and listed building consent means the city can now look forward to its careful restoration and repurposing. The Rylands Building’s hidden heritage features will once again be restored, bringing new-found vitality and vibrancy to the area.”
One City Road
Developer: Marshall CDP
Architect: Jon Matthews Architects
Planner: Deloitte Rel Estate
Project: Marshall CDP has been granted consent to develop two office buildings, one of 11 storeys and one of 14, along with ground floor retail, in the scheme close to First Street and Deansgate station; offering upward of 370,000 sq ft of office space off City Road and Medlock Street.
Under the plans, a central atrium will occupy the area between the two blocks, linking Medlock Street through to a garden on Shortcroft Street.
The site currently houses a 1980s office building that will be demolished under Marshall’s proposals.
The wider project team includes Booth King Partnership as the structural engineer, Planit-IE as the landscape architect, and Curtins as transport consultant.
Lodged in October, the scheme provoked 49 objections, many relating to scale and light impact, but officers reported that the scheme’s height, scale, massing and appearance are in keeping with the area.
Glade of Light
Developer: Manchester City Council
Designer: BCA Landscape and Smiling Wolf
Project: The permanent memorial to those who died as a result of the Manchester Arean terror attack in May 2017 is to be located between Manchester Cathedral and Chetham’s School of Music, at the foot of Fennel Street.
It will feature a white stone ring “halo” adorned with the names of the 22 people who lost their lives set in bronze, with personalised memory capsules held within the stone. The Glade of Light will also feature a planting scheme planned to ensure year-round colour.
The project sits within the masterplan for the Medieval Quarter set out by SimpsonHaugh in 2016.
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “This memorial at the heart of our city promises to be a beautiful tribute to those whose lives were so cruelly cut short on 22 May 2017. Their memories will endure and Manchester will never forget them.
“The Glade of Light will become part of the fabric of our city, a calm and peaceful place which will blend seamlessly with the regeneration of the wider Medieval Quarter in which it sits.”
Developer: Kames Property Income Fund, part of Aegon Asset Management
Architect: Sheppard Robson
Project: The plan to replace a 1960s block with a 135,000 sq ft office building with a 17-storey block was refused due to the impact has been before committee previously, with issues raised including concerns over the St Ann’s Square Conservation Area and impact on residents in No. 1 Deansgate, 43 of whom combined to fight the development.
Following deferral at November’s committee, December’s verdict was “minded to refuse” with officers asked to provide further information. Officers set these out in January’s reports pack, pointing out that the issues facing the No. 1 Deansgate residents are not uncommon; outlining further that the scheme as proposed is supported by approved planning policies.
However, the planning committee voted to refuse the scheme yesterday.
GMS’ 55-storey student tower
Developer: GMS (Parking)
Architect: Glenn Howells Architects
Planner: Deloitte Real Estate
Project: The £130m plans, deferred pending a site visit, involve the reduction of the multi-storey car park on Great Marlborough Street, with the space created being used to build a part 55-storey, part 11-storey complex offering 853 student accommodation units.
The applicant company is linked to the Student Castle group that developed the nearby 37-storey tower since sold to Liberty Living.
Across three rounds of consultation, two councillors have objected along with the Macintosh Village Management Company, which described the development as “tombstone-like”.
In addition, 216 residents, 80 of whom have a parking space within the car park concerned also objected, while Manchester Metropolitan University supports the plan.