First new council housing development in Ancoats to be built

Plans for 118 apartments and 10 townhouses in Ancoats have been approved.

The first new council housing development of its kind to be built in Manchester has been given the green light despite local opposition.

Plans for 118 apartments and 10 townhouses in Ancoats have been approved by the council’s planning committee after concerns were raised about parking.

The site off Rodney Street will be home to the first project by This City, Manchester council’s new development arm launched earlier this year.

The council-owned company plans to build 500 homes a year with at least 20 % available for Manchester Living Rent, capped at local housing benefit levels.

The first scheme to be built by This City, which is planned for a plot of ‘scrub land’ next to Ancoats Green, promises to be ‘high quality, low carbon housing’.

All ten three and four-bedroom townhouses planned in this new development would be affordable alongside a further 28 one and two-bedroom apartments.

The rest of the properties will all be sold, subsidising the affordable housing.

Plans for 128 homes at Rodney Street in Ancoats, Manchester. Credit: This City / Buttress
Plans for 128 homes at Rodney Street in Ancoats, Manchester. Credit: This City / Buttress
Plans for 128 homes at Rodney Street in Ancoats, Manchester. Credit: This City / Buttress

Council leader Bev Craig said: “It’s great to see the first This City site out of the blocks and delivering the homes that we know Manchester people need.

“This is a really exciting time for Ancoats and the beginning of the completion of a regeneration journey spanning two decades.”

‘Lack of parking’

Councillors on the planning committee welcomed the new affordable housing at a meeting on Thursday but highlighted the lack of parking.

Only 17 parking spaces would be available on the site itself – one for each house and seven reserved for disabled people at the two apartment blocks.

Around 30 parking spaces would be ‘provided’ at the new mobility hub set to be built nearby, but it is not clear whether it would cost residents to park there.

The mobility hub is set to centralise car parking for new developments in the area, but this is expected to come at a cost to residents who require a space.

Residents in the surrounding streets fear that this means people will park in front of their homes where there are currently no parking restrictions in force.

A new residents’ parking scheme is expected to be introduced elsewhere in Ancoats with £4m of funding secured from recent developments in the area.

But Miles Platting and Newton Heath councillor John Flanagan said this would ‘push’ the problem to other nearby streets which fall in the ward he represents.

However, he told the committee that the council has now agreed to extend the new scheme up to Varley Street, between Oldham Street and Rochdale Canal.

He also requested that the affordable housing residents at the Rodney Street site who may not be able to afford parking at the mobility hub get permits too.

Labour councillor Irene Robinson, who represents Ancoats and Beswick, said she is excited about the development despite the potential parking problems.

She is calling for affordable housing tenants to get free or ‘heavily discounted’ parking at the new mobility hub, saying cars are ‘essential’ for some residents.

Lib Dem councillor Alan Good, who represents the ward too, agreed and called on the council to bring forward its plans for a new residents’ parking scheme.

He also welcomed the affordable housing, but said it is a ‘drop in the ocean’.

Labour councillor Gavin White, who is the executive member for housing and development at Manchester council, said bringing this brownfield site back into use is ‘the beginning of the next phase of the Ancoats regeneration story’.

He said: “Crucially many of these homes will be capped at the Manchester Living Rent, which means they will be affordable to residents on housing benefit and thereby increasing the number of homes available to families on lower incomes.

“This development will also be complemented by the wider investment in public realm that will celebrate Ancoats Green as heart of the neighbourhood helping to deliver a highly sustainable and low carbon community.”

The application was approved unanimously by the planning committee.