Unite New Wakefield Street

Unite reveals plans for student tower

Student accommodation provider Unite has revealed plans for its 600-bedroom scheme at 1-5 New Wakefield Street, Manchester.

The scheme, which is intended to top out at around 35 storeys, sits close to the Hodder-designed 37-storey tower Liberty Heights at 1 Great Marlborough Street, which was developed by Student Castle during the last recession before being sold to CPPIB Liberty Living in 2015.

Unite held a public exhibition for the scheme yesterday. At this stage, the developer intends for the vast majority of the accommodation to be arranged in clusters of five to ten bedrooms, with just 10% of the space used for studio apartments. Anodised aluminium is proposed as the cladding for the building.

The architect for the project is SimpsonHaugh & Partners, with Turley providing planning advice. Although the full detail of the scheme, such as its exact height and number of floors, has not yet been finalised, Unite expressed a desire to submit a planning application and begin construction as soon as possible, subject to approval.

The site in question houses the Sound Control music venue and a derelict premises next door, both will be demolished. The site abuts the building at 7-9 New Wakefield Street, which is home to The Font bar. There will be ground floor retail at Unite’s proposed scheme. Consultation is open until the end of June.

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Disgraceful location.

By .

This looks MASSIVE. What is going on with those huge blank elevations on the corners?

By Bradford


By Bo


By planner

To think that they were trying to justify the wholesale clearance of properties in front of Oxford Road station on the basis of “regeneration” benefits.

There is evidently no lack of investment interest in this area. What is lacking is a planning framework for tall buildings and the protection and enhancement of character and heritage.

Too many buildings of dubious character have been put up in this area, totally smothering the industrial character of what was once ‘Little Ireland’. A massive shame.

By Unimpressed

Manchester don’t appear to be learning from it recent past relating to big buildings. This is a another product of power being to concentrated both architecturally and politically.

By Anonymous

Better than its nasty neighbour.

By Elephant

Love it! Really interesting design. The best Simpson Haugh have come up with in years.

By David



Yuk! Hopefully the Simpson factor will work on their side. But I hope it doesn’t…………..

By Steve the Sceptic

much better than what a certain other student accommodation “developer” with sites not too far from this one have had built. I know which one I’d rather live in and can imagine most students preferring the “quirky” factor too.

By Anon

The Palace hotel is a much higher quality building and is listed. There is no question this proposal by virtue of its scale and proximity (and insensitive design) damages this important, iconic and identifiably Mancunian building.

By Unimpressed

Crikey that’s grime


The parallels with St Michael’s are obvious. Decent building but probably inappropriate given the location and proximity to listed buildings and a conservation area.

By DisPlaced

Interesting design, personally think it could be special, however what is more interesting for us geeks is how Unite will seek to address MCC’s rather restrictive policy stance on new student accommodation.

By Jim One

This will suit Manchester in everyway perfectly!

By Rosie York

This building looks aesthetically beautiful•••••the only surprise is that it’s designed by Simpson Haugh architects who I assumed were only capable of building identical tall rectangular behemoths with different cladding options

By Anthony Fallon

This is absolutely shocking. God help us all if this is the best we can offer as designers, consultants and council members. It makes me laugh how bad it is.

By Clew

Aesthetically superior compared with neighbouring ‘student tower’.

By I

Needs a ‘sky garden’ on top.

By I

•••just viewed it from the approach to Oxford Rd. Train Station angle•••••it looks absolutely STUNNING•••••after all the tall rectangular ‘any city’ dross being built in Manchester, this gem will become a much needed post-modern iconic structure for Manchester ☆☆☆☆☆

By Anthony Fallon

Really u.g.l.y. There needs to be pressure on the Council to stop this.

By Craig

Absolutely gorgeous building. Get it built!

By Mb

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