Manchester Council rejects plans for 175-flat block of flats near Shudehill tram stop

Plans for a new block of flats by Shudehill tram stop which were first put forward nearly five years ago have been thrown out by Manchester council. 

Town hall planners have said the development which features 175 flats is ‘too big’ and described the design as ‘not good enough’ for the city centre site.

The scheme would see buildings on the ‘largely vacant’ plot demolished to make way for a residential block ranging from two to 19 storeys in height.

However, the listed 29 Shudehill building would be restored to accommodate a boutique restaurant and the Rosenfield Building’s façade would be retained.

Speaking on behalf of developer Interland Holdings at a town hall meeting on Thursday (April 13), Neil Lucas of Avison Young said that the benefits of the £57m scheme would outweigh the ‘harm’ to the heritage of the area.

He told the planning committee that the developer has worked closely with the council, but the 19-storey block planned on Dantzic Street remains a concern.

He argued that the nearby Glassworks tower – which has been dubbed the ‘Shudehill Shard’ – is a similar height. However, the council’s planning officers said that these comparisons to Salboy’s 16-storey skyscraper are ‘irrelevant’.

Planning chief Dave Roscoe told the committee why his team recommended councillors reject the application first submitted in 2018. He said: “We simply think that the development is too big, it’s too damaging in terms of heritage and the design is just simply not good enough for such a prominent site as this.

“We have been discussing this for a long time because we do really want to see development brought forward on this site, but not at any cost.

“This needs to be much higher quality and much more respectful of heritage and the area.”

Piccadilly ward councillor Jon-Connor Lyons said he expected some affordable housing to be offered on the site to make up for the harm to heritage.

But the developer said this scheme is the ‘optimum viable use’ of the ‘complex’ site.

Mr Roscoe said that there’s ‘no reason’ that a housing scheme would not be acceptable in this area, but hotels or offices ‘could equally be acceptable’.

The committee unanimously rejected the application, citing scale, appearance and heritage in their reasons for refusal, as per the recommendation of officers.

The committee considered two other applications at the meeting – a three-bedroom property on land in Baguley and an upgrade to gas infrastructure in Chorlton where a replacement ‘kiosk’ would be built behind houses in Barlow Moor Road.

Both applications were subject to objections, but were approved.


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