Massive 35-storey Manchester tower rejected for being ‘too tall’ could still get go ahead at planning meeting

The major developments have already been knocked back by councillors once - but could still get the green light as they are going before the planning committee again.

Major developments which were knocked back by Manchester’s planning committee are set to face another vote when councillors meet.

No fewer than three controversial proposals - two involving huge towers with apartments in them and the other a rebuilding of a Victorian office block - are back in front of the committee on Thursday (30 June).

All three have previously had knockbacks, whether they were rejected or decisions were deferred.

Now, though, all of them could get the green light.

A proposal previously criticised for being ‘too tall’

Plans for 485 flats between the Northern Quarter and Ancoats, including a 35-storey tower in Port Street, could still go ahead if approved at the meeting on Thursday.

The proposal was criticised for being ‘too tall’ and having no affordable homes – although the developer agreed to pay £1m for affordable housing elsewhere.

How the massive residential building with 485 flats in Port Street and Greater Ancoats Street could look, Manchester. Credit: SimpsonHaugh.
How the massive residential building with 485 flats in Port Street and Greater Ancoats Street could look, Manchester. Credit: SimpsonHaugh.
How the massive residential building with 485 flats in Port Street and Greater Ancoats Street could look, Manchester. Credit: SimpsonHaugh.

Last month, the planning committee voted against the scheme by developer SimpsonHaugh, asking town hall planners to address several concerns raised.

Another application for 54 apartments in a 15-storey tower near Piccadilly Station was also discussed at the last meeting, but the decision was delayed.

The M1 Piccadilly development in Store Street, which has been backed by Liverpool footballer Naby Keita, would not feature any affordable flats, but the developer agreed to contribute £125,000 towards affordable housing off site.

M1 Piccadilly at Store Street in Manchester. Credit: M1 Piccadilly
M1 Piccadilly at Store Street in Manchester. Credit: M1 Piccadilly
M1 Piccadilly at Store Street in Manchester. Credit: M1 Piccadilly

Nevertheless, speaking against both applications, Piccadilly ward councillor Sam Wheeler said the money offered for affordable housing was not enough.

Councillors deferred the decision asking for a visit of the site to be arranged.

They came to the same conclusion about an application to rebuild a Grade-II listed office block in Fountain Street which would retain its Victorian façade.

All three developments are on the agenda for Thursday with a recommendation from town hall bosses to approve all of the proposals subject to legal agreements being signed off.

What have council planners said?

Commenting on the Port Street proposal, the latest report by planning officers says: “Careful consideration has been given to the impact of the development on the local area (including residential properties, business, and recreational areas) and it has been demonstrated that there would be no unduly harmful impacts on noise, traffic generation, air quality, water management, wind, solar glare, contamination or loss of daylight and sunlight.

“Where harm does arise, it can be appropriately mitigated, and would not amount to a reason to refuse this planning application.”#

What else is on the planning agenda?

A further four planning applications are due to be discussed by councillors at the meeting later this week, relating to three developments across the city.

Plans for a former hairdressers’ in the Northern Quarter would see a building below apartments in Oldham Street turned into a new bar and music venue.

But the proposal has been subject to seven objections mainly relating to noise.

Applications to retain a temporary marquee at the British Muslim Heritage Centre in Whalley Range for another three years also attracted objections.

The two applications relating to the listed building have received 17 objections, some claiming that the noise and traffic from events are affecting neighbours.

There are also plans to extend a house in Ruabon Road in Didsbury East ward which have been subject to several objections from its neighbouring residents.

Controversial student complex not being considered this time

One development that is not on the agenda for Thursday’s meeting is the plans for a 261-bed student complex in Hulme which was also knocked back by the committee last month after hundred of objections against the 13-storey tower.

Campaigners from Block the Block filled the council chamber to show their opposition to the student accommodation at the former Gamecock pub site.

However, the planning committee decided it was ‘minded to refuse’ the application which means town hall planners must now comment on the concerns raised by councillors and members of the public at the meeting.