Four new skyscrapers could be built in Manchester city centre if plans worth more than £741m get the green light from the planning committee this week.
The apartment blocks, ranging from 39 to 60 storeys in height, are planned for two parcels of land on the banks of the River Irwell known as Trinity Islands.
The buildings, featuring 1,950 flats in total, would be located on land between Regent Road, Liverpool Road and Water Street which is currently a car park.
The plans also include a gym, a residents’ garden and a business lounge, as well as ground floor commercial space and a drinking establishment within the site.
It comes after previous plans for five towers – including one which would have been the tallest residential building in Western Europe – failed to materialise.
But one of the skyscrapers in the latest plans by Renaker – which bought the site in 2018 – would still be among the tallest towers in the United Kingdom outside of London, second in Manchester to the South Tower at Deansgate Square.
In total, the new plans feature 560 more flats than the previous proposal did.
There would be 556 car parking spaces on site of which a fifth would have an electric charging point with the rest readily able to be adapted at a later stage.
However, none of the new apartments would be deemed affordable as the developer said this would make the £741.7m scheme no longer viable.
An initial contribution of £106,000 towards affordable housing elsewhere has been agreed with plans in place to review the scheme’s viability in the future.
The developer has also agreed to contribute £1.5m towards a new school at Crown Street and values its planned public realm improvements at £10.3m.
This leaves the developer with a profit margin of around 12.04 %, falling short of the 18 to 20 % industry standard for a development of this scale, according to a financial viability statement submitted as part of the planning application.
It said: “Given the significant financial contribution attributed to the improvements to the public realm and the quality of the scheme and associated delivery costs, the scheme as supported within the enclosed viability cannot support further [Section 106] or affordable housing contribution.
“The scheme is high-quality in design and delivers much needed green public recreational space.
“It also continues to transform the new neighbourhood and wider city centre, in becoming an aspirational place and setting for people to enjoy over a longer term.”
Manchester city council officers have recommended councillors on the planning committee approve the application, which received eight objections in total.
What else is on at the meeting?
The committee will also consider plans to build a detached two-storey dwelling next to the Jolly Butcher pub in Brooklands ward which has been subject to seven letters of objection, including from the neighbouring pub.
An application to amend the affordable housing arrangements associated with the plans to build 410 homes at the former Manox factory in Miles Platting is also back on the agenda after councillors asked to see the new agreement.
The planning committee will meet on Thursday (17 February) at 2pm.