Withington homes approved on appeal

Planning permission has been granted for the redevelopment of the former Cine City site in South Manchester, to provide retail space and 25 flats in a four-storey building.

The plans were initially refused on the basis that the scheme would have a detrimental effect on local on-street parking, and Manchester City Council’s planning committee felt the design would detract from the adjacent listed building.

Whilst the proposal does not include parking spaces, the scheme will deliver 14 bicycles as part of a shared scheme for the exclusive use of residents, and includes free use of a car-hire service.

The Cine City cinema was demolished in 2003, as part of residential plans that were never implemented.

The architect on the scheme is Atelier MB, while P4 Planning provided planning advice and submitted the application on behalf of Britannia.

Awais Shahid, operations director of Britannia Group, said: “We are pleased to finally secure consent for this key site which had public support, but was considerably delayed by local political opposition. It is regrettable that elected members objected to the scheme at committee leading to appeal, which has been at great expense to the taxpayer. The inspector reached his decision promptly, and we now look forward to providing much needed homes for key workers and a new retail unit to help anchor this end of the district centre.”

Bill Davidson, director of P4 Planning, said: “The inspector agreed that this proposal clearly comprises sustainable development and would not lead to a significantly increased demand for parking. The apartments are likely to attract local key worker residents who can make use of the alternative transport options available and the regeneration of this gap in the conservation area is of significant importance.”

SK Transport Planning advised on highways matters. Heritage advice was provided by Planning Heritage.  Britannia Group was legally represented by Paul Tucker QC.

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