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Controversial plans dividing Manchester residents revealed

The fate of six developments is set to be sealed by councillors in Manchester this week at the planning committee’s monthly meeting.

The plans include a new office building in the city centre, student accommodation in Moss Side and affordable housing in Openshaw as part of a new council-led project.

Two of the applications involve listed Victorian buildings, one of which would be demolished if the proposal is approved – a move which faces opposition. There is also a proposal to build new apartments and houses at the site of a former nursery and probation centre in the Victoria Park area of Rusholme.

The other applications on the agenda are smaller in scale and include plans for a rear dormer at a family home in Chorlton and an extension to a house in multiple occupation (HMO) in Withington, both of which have had objections.

All six schemes will be put to a vote by councillors at the planning committee meeting on Thursday (July 6). Here are the six applications on the agenda:

Demolition of Reedham House to make way for 14-storey office block

Plans for a new 14-storey office building in Manchester city centre would involve demolishing a part of the Grade-II listed Reedham House building. The Victorian building on King Street West was once a showroom for horse-drawn carriages and is considered part of the Parsonage Gardens Conservation Area.

National bodies Historic England and Save Britain’s Heritage have objected to the planning application citing the loss of this building and the impact of the new building on the surrounding conservation area.

However, town hall bosses have recommended that the application is approved by the planning committee.

If approved, the Grade-II listed 3 Smithy Lane and Carriage Works buildings would be retained with  4,849 sqm of office floor space created altogether. The government would have to sign off the scheme before building can start.

261 student beds including Victorian villa conversion near Whitworth Park

Another Grade-II listed building is affected by plans for new student flats near Whitworth Park. But in this scheme, Victorian-era villas would be converted.

A brick building with a pair of semi-detached villas which is not listed would be demolished to make way for the development which would accommodate 261 students. And a new link building would be created between the two listed white villas which are to be converted and the new nine-storey student block.

However, objections have been received from residents’ associations, tenants’ unions and a heritage group. Despite their concerns about the design and its impact on the area, town hall bosses have backed the planning application.

Former nursery and probation centre in Victoria Park to become flats

A former day nursery, probation offices and community centre in Victoria Park are set to be demolished to make way for 41 apartments and 31 houses. But 16 objections have been received to the proposal with a range of concerns raised.

The existing buildings have been vacant for several years while six of the new apartments planned for the site in Laindon Road would be sold at a discounted price with 12 more flats to be affordable if grant funding is approved. However, concerns have been raised about Victoria Park becoming ‘overpopulated’ with local infrastructure such as schools, GPs and hospitals ‘struggling’ to cope.

Objectors also raised concerns about the existing level of traffic in the area. Nevertheless, town hall planners recommend the application is approved.

Affordable housing in Openshaw as part of new council project

Plans for 24 house and cottage flats in Openshaw are also on the agenda. All of the homes on the patch of grass bounded by Brigham Street, Meech Street and the back of Connie Street would be affordable, according to the proposal.

The scheme, which has been submitted by housing provider One Manchester, is part of a council project which aims to create hundreds of new affordable homes. Project 500 involves Manchester council selling small plots of land it owns to affordable housing providers at a discount so they can be developed.

The first phase seeks to provide 378 new, low-carbon affordable homes on 27 sites across the city, mainly in north and east Manchester. One objection has been received for this application, but it has been recommended for approval.

Rear dormer and rooflights in Chorlton and HMO extension in Withington

The committee will also be asked to consider two smaller schemes which have been subject to objections. One application is for a rear dormer and four roof lights on the front of a family home in Chorlton alongside new roof glazing.

Eight letters of objection have been received to the application relating to the Whalley Avenue property, citing concerns about visual and residential amenity. Councillors will also look at plans for a two-storey extension to a five-bedroom HMO in Withington which has received objections from two local councillors.

The extension would not create any additional rooms at the property in Cotton Lane, according to the plans, but instead increase the size of the shared living space and one of the bedrooms on the first floor. Two objections have been received from local residents in addition to the representations from the ward councillors representing the area who claim they regularly receive complaints about this HMO property relating to noise, poor waste disposal and drug use.

Council planning officers have recommended both applications are approved.

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