Great Northern Warehouse : Plans to ditch Manchester city cinema for flats are set to be approved
Plans are also afoot for a new Lidl in Chorlton.
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The biggest development set to be discussed by councillors at this month’s planning committee meeting would see the cinema at the Great Northern Warehouse on Deansgate ditched in favour of nearly 750 flats. In total, six of the applications on the agenda are for developments in Didsbury, with two in Chorlton, two in Ardwick, one in Whalley Range and another one in Moss Side.
Councillors on the planning committee will meet at the town hall to discuss 15 applications relating to 13 sites. Local residents and councillors who represent them will have the opportunity to speak in support or against each application.
Great Northern Warehouse
The former AMC cinema is set to go under plans to transform the Grade-II listed Great Northern Warehouse in Deansgate. The ‘retail extension’ built in the 1990s which currently houses Odeon is set to be demolished with 746 apartments across three residential blocks ranging from 16 to 34 storeys.
The multi-storey car park would also be repurposed for 26,000 sqm of Grade A office accommodation, leaving 929 parking spaces on the site of which almost a fifth would be reserved for residents. A glass bridge would also be built between the warehouse and Deansgate terrace to connect the buildings.
If approved, the redevelopment would take place in three phases, with the main construction works commencing in June 2024. The project, which has been backed by council officers, is expected to be completed by June 2029.
St Gabriel’s Hall in Ardwick
Former student halls of residents at Oxford Place which are currently empty are set to be redeveloped which would see some of the site demolished. Established in 1920 by the Roman Catholic Passionist Sisters as women-only student accommodation, parts of St Gabriel’s Hall date back to the 1850s.
Together with Woodthorpe Hall, this St Gabriel’s will be refurbished, while St David’s Hall – built in 1935 as part of wider proposals for a new church that were never realised – would be demolished as part of the redevelopment.
In total, 319 student bedrooms are proposed across two new blocks and the revamped St Gabriel’s and Woodthorpe halls. The new-builds on the eastern and western edges of the site would be five storeys in height at their tallest.
Emergency accommodation in Ardwick
Also in the council ward of Ardwick, plans to turn an empty building in Upper Brook Street into short stay emergency accommodation for homeless families are also set to be approved. Previously used as a hostel, the property would provide nine en-suite bedrooms for families, housing up to 27 people in total.
The property would be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week with at least one member of staff present at any one time, according to a council report. The accommodation would be available for up to eight weeks, the report adds.
However, a letter of objection with 15 signatures has been received raising concerns that, without appropriate support for its residents, the scheme would add to existing issues of drug use and anti-social behaviour in the area. Town hall planners have recommended that the application – which has the support of the counci’s homelessness team – is approved by the committee.
Jessiefield in Didsbury
Plans to build a retirement living complex in Spath Road were rejected in December 2020 and an appeal to overturn the decision was dismissed last March. Developers McCarthy and Stone Retirement Lifestyles redesigned the plans to create 26 apartments as opposed to the 34 previously proposed.
The council’s planning department has supported the revised proposal. But the new plans are still unpopular among local residents who have written 112 objections to the development alongside a petition containing 67 signatures.
Changes were made to the proposal, but a further 46 letters of objection were received after neighbours were notified. Local councillors have also objected.
Didsbury Technology Park
A new six-storey office building is planned as part of the next phase of development at the Siemens Campus in Didsbury. Dubbed Ev0, developer Bruntwood says the block would be UK’s lowest carbon new build workspace with most of the energy it uses generated on the site off Princess Road.
Solar panels on façades, the roof and the car park would all act as a series of mini power plants while the remaining energy required would be sourced from a wind farm in Ayrshire which is owned by the developer. The façades have also been designed to avoid overheating on the sunny side while making the most of the sun’s power on the other sides of the timber-framed building.
In total, 82,000 sq ft of office space is planned alongside a three-storey car park next to the Spire Hospital building. The £31m project could be complete by autumn 2024 if it is approved by the planning committee this week.
The Northern in Didsbury
The lawn tennis and squash club in Palatine Road is in store for a makeover. Overall, three of the existing grass courts would be replaced by all-weather courts while two padel courts would be created at the members-owned club.
Known simply as The Northern, the club has said the new courts are needed due to a recent rise in membership. According to a report by council officers who support the plan, the plans would provide an extra 282 hours of tennis court usage per week, allowing more coaching and school sessions to happen.
The two applications – one specifically for the synthetic court and another for the eight-metre high building that would house the new padel courts, have been subject to 127 comments from residents, but most have been positive. Most of the objections received relate to the noise from the padel courts.
Lidl in Chorlton
A new supermarket is set to be built at a former office block which has most recently been used as a temporary site for Chorlton High School South. But the application to demolish the 1970s building and open a new Lidl on the land at Mauldeth Road West has been subject to hundreds of objections locally.
In total, 76 people have written in support of the application. But 95 were against the proposal with one letter of objection receiving 122 signatures.
Nevertheless, planning rules state that the former office building could be used for retail without receiving permission from the council. Town hall planners have supported the scheme saying that it would create new jobs.
New homes on field in Chorlton
Former playing fields off Wilbraham Road could be turned into new housing if plans for 65 new homes – 13 of which would be affordable – are approved. But neighbours of the unused plot have raised concerns about the development.
The pitch has also been used by Maine Road FC for training in the past, but it was last used in 2016, according to its owner, the Greater Manchester Youth Federation. Faced with an ‘extremely challenging environment’, the 125-year-old charity says it is looking to develop the land and reinvest in other areas.
Developer Anwyl Homes wants to build a mix of houses and apartments on the site and has offered to pay for a new football pitch at Alexandra Park and a non-turf pitch would be created at South West Manchester Cricket Club. However, residents have raised concerns about the impact the new housing would have on their properties, arguing that it should still be a green space.
Manley Park Play Centre
An extension of the Community on Solid Ground centre in Whalley Range has been approved before. But the plans are back in front of the committee once again as more amendments are made, this time to create a therapy room.
Planning permission was granted for extensions to the single-storey community centre in March 2021. It comes after previous applications to enlarge the play centre were approved in 2020 including indoor covered activity spaces and an activity hall for which work is already under way.
Another application was approved last October with plans for a further enlargement to the existing building and a new front entrance. The latest application would see the building enlarged further to form a therapy room.
Home extensions in Moss Side and Didsbury
Plans for an extension to a property in Craigmore Avenue have been called in by a local councillor who claims the development would make the house too large. Four residents have objected to the plans alongside West Didsbury Residents Association who described the proposal as ‘overdevelopment’.
However, the council’s highways department said that the extension would not create a new home which makes is ‘unlikely’ that allowing it to go ahead would result in any significant increase in demand for parking. Town hall planners have recommended that the council committee approves the application.
Elsewhere in the city, a single-storey to a property in Moss Side has also been called in by a councillor who claims it would overlook the neighbouring home. Labour councillor Emily Rowles raised the concerns about the plans in Victory Street alongside four letters from or on behalf of a neighbouring residents.