Ralli Quays from Bridge Street LGIM p.planning docs

EPR Architects designed the scheme. Credit: via planning documents

Ralli Quays revamp approved after Irwell walkway rethink 

Legal & General Investment Management has won approval to build a hotel and an office next to the river in Salford after reversing its plans to scrap a historic riverside path in the face of fierce opposition. 

LGIM’s scheme will see the 80,000 sq ft Ralli Quays demolished and replaced with two buildings: a 16-storey hotel and a new 212,000 sq ft office. 

Plans lodged in 2021 proposed closing a section of the riverside walkway along the Irwell to facilitate the scheme. 

Under those plans, the path would have been redirected through the lobby of the 280-bedroom hotel. 

This angered campaigners who said the path should remain open. 

Despite these concerns, Salford City Council’s planning committee granted LGIM approval for the scheme in January. 

However, in August, Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett urged the developer to rethink the proposals and find a way to retain the walkway. 

Mayor Paul Dennett had called for a redesign of the Ralli Quays plan. Credit: via planning documents

LGIM and architect EPR subsequently reworked the proposals, pledging to retain the path. 

Under the revised plans, the public will be able to access the path 24/7. A set of steps will take pedestrians down from Stanley Street to a colonnade walkway below the two new buildings.  

The path will run to where it is blocked off beneath Riverside House, where another set of steps will take pedestrians back up to street level. 

The revised application has now been approved by Salford City Council, marking a victory for the campaigners.

Dr Morag Rose, who led the calls for the path to be retained, said that it would be “premature” to celebrate the decision, though.

“We need access promises in legally tight wording but [there are] reasons to be optimistic,” she said on Twitter.

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Common sense finally prevails – but it should not have taken the intervention of the City Mayor. Officers should have been on the front foot on this one.

By Anonymous

We must be one of the worst cities in Europe when it comes to utilising frontage on to our waterways.

By New Wave

Excellent news. This’ll be a great scheme. The current building is pretty lacklustre and this area is booming.

By Tom

Why is the path blocked off? This is surely contrary to the legal right of way. It should therefore be unblocked, the flight of proposed steps removed and investment secured to widen the path to make it more useable – in effect righting the mistakes and missed opportunities of the last 20 years of short sighted planning / development.

By Anonymous

If the original walkway was user friendly for disabled people, its replacement, with steps at either end, will surely not be.

By Anonymous

That’s a fabulous redesign if it includes the walk way….looks really get it built. Get it legally watertight and get it built

By Anon

@anon it is as tight to the water as you can get

By Levelling Up Manager

It’s amazing how creative architects can be when their cheap nasty designs aren’t just waved through by local officials.

By Anthony

Agree with New Wave. We are rubbish at rivers, and rubbish at parks and squares in Manchester.

By Elephant

This is a significant improvement. This stretch of water will be hugely improved i.e. with the addition of The Alberton, possible replacement of Albert House, etc. If only the Renaissance Hotel was coming down rather than being saved.

On a different note. With all this density around the Mark Addy, has anyone heard of recent plans to look at the site?

By Tom

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