Manchester City Council refused plans for 175 city centre flats in April. Credit: via planning documents

Shudehill appeal parties prepare to lock horns 

Manchester City Council is preparing to defend its decision to reject Interland Holdings’ 175-apartment development by claiming the scheme is neither viable nor deliverable. 

Both the appellant and the authority have submitted statements of case to the Planning Inspectorate setting out their positions ahead of the appeal which will be held in October. 

Manchester City Council refused Interland Holding’s application to redevelop a site next to Shudehill Interchange earlier this year amid concerns the scheme would “undermine the ongoing regeneration of the city centre”.   

Interland’s scheme proposed the creation of three blocks, rising to 19 storeys at its tallest point, located next to Shudehill bus station and tram stop.  

The project would also have seen some existing historic buildings retained, including part of 29 Shudehill and the façade of the Rosenfield Building, a former department store located at 18-20 Dantzic Street in Manchester. 

With an appeal coming up, Manchester City Council has written a 35-page statement of case outlining what it will argue at the inquiry. 

Among the points the city council will raise in defence of its refusal is one around deliverability. 

The statement says: “The city council will contend that the appellant has not demonstrated that their proposal is deliverable…as the anticipated return from the scheme is so low that it is not credible that a developer will be able to secure funding for the development proposal.” 

Interland’s viability appraisal for the scheme states that it would have a gross development value of £57.6m and cost £46.7m to build. 

Interland could expect a profit of £9.2m, 16% of GDV, according to the appraisal, which was compiled by Cushman & Wakefield. 

The developer’s statement of case states that the viability report and an options appraisal were sent to the city council, whose advisers “confirmed that this scale of development [the project as submitted] was the only viable scenario”. 

Plans for the redevelopment of the site were first lodged in 2018 but left to gather dust for four years until revised proposals were tabled last year.  

The resurrection of the plans followed the approval of Salboy’s controversial Glassworks office project nearby.  

Salboy’s scheme, “establishes the principle of high-density development in this location”, an updated planning statement asserted.    

A design and access statement by Buttress added that Glassworks “establishes a new precedent for height in the area, which could be supported by providing height on the Shudehill development site to better frame the interchange space.”    

To find out more about the proposals, search for application number 121195/FO/2018 on Manchester City Council’s planning portal. 

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Developers and architects should try designing more beautiful/well-proportioned buildings – they might then find that planners and the public are more open to new developments.

By Anonymous

This would be a good place for a skyscraper to add to the skyline! If you’re not going to do that though, every flat should have a balcony.


Not really sure what the opposition to this is. Far worse has been allowed to go up in the city without complaint. The area is also a dump at present.

By Bob

It’s a shame that Manchester City Council can’t make the opposite viability argument on the countless developments that are passed with e.g. no affordable housing contributions…


Agree with comment from Bob, I don’t understand the opposition to this. The activation to the back of the tram stop alone I would be sure would make this (on balance) a decent proposal

By Bradford

It looks fine. Add some balconies to it and get it approved and then everyone can move on with their lives.

By Anonymous

Get it built..

By Jeff Blair

It’s a hideous overdevelopment. Cheap looking and characterless.

The 2 unwieldly masses at each end need slimming down to start with. The proportions are ghastly.

By Anonymous

Buttress are really great, talented architect’s and have done some fantastic work but this…. this is really sub-par for them. The proportions, materiality, the massing, it’s just all over the place. Something really special could go here. It’s depressing to read that the other commenters complete utter lack of ambition with comments like “far worse has been allowed to go up” as if that’s an achievement worth merit.

By Egg

I really don’t see the issue with this development, it’s these types of huge bloc type developments that really give a place the ‘big city’ feel and spur on more development. And being just outside a tram stop should make it extremely popular and with all the shops at the ground level.

By Anonymous

Anodyne would be my first word to describe this design, followed by generic & monolithic. A mountainous wall of beige brickwork is inappropriate for Manchester, particularly this area. Back to the CAD system, to try and model interesting elevations that add to the viual amenity, character and vitality of a rapidly improving cityscape. Quality of design should be a minimum prerequisite.

By VoiceOfDoom2023

This really is architecture at its worst. More CARE must be taken by architects and developers alike to produce a better quality designs. If this gets the green light it will mean that Manchester has not learnt from the mistakes of the past. And if the city wants to shine on the world stage, which is not the case at the moment in my opinion, then it is going to have to do much much better than this.

By John

This building is a monstrosity. It’s too big and it doesn’t fit with the character of this area. But Manchester CC has itself to blame for allowing Salboy’s glass tower to be built across the road. Now every developer will try to maximise their profits by plonking the cheapest and the biggest building possible in the middle of Northern Quarter.

By Johnny

Salboy’s glass tower is by far the best building in the northern quarter, the rest of it looks like Blackpool

By Gilly

I thought we had seen the last of this kind of development. Makes me think of the Arndale centre in the 80s the huge custard coloured structure that everyone hated and was ( and still is) a stain on the city centre. I hope it does not get built.

By Dave

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