Plans to transform one of Manchester’s historic mill districts with hundreds of new apartments are set to be approved today.
Piccadilly Basin, the neighbourhood along the Rochdale Canal bordering the Northern Quarter, would be overhauled in a long-term vision that would create flats, shops, offices and a new multi-storey car park on Brewer Street.
After objections from residents during a public consultation, the town hall has now promised to keep the district’s ‘grow boxes’ – miniature urban allotments – and include more green space in the plans.
But concerns raised over the potential ten-storey-plus height of some new buildings, which some residents felt would be out of keeping with the area’s historic mills and warehouses, have been dismissed by officers.
The masterplan takes into account a number of developments either already in the pipeline or which have already been granted planning permission, including 91 new apartments on Tariff Street.
Piccadilly Basin, where a masterplan vision for the building of more than 1,000 homes as well as nearly 25,000 square metres of commercial, retail and leisure space has been unveiled
That first phase of the transformation would be followed by developer Urban Splash’s plans to transform Brownsfield Mill on Redhill Street, just off the inner ring road.
Urban Splash and Town Centre Securities intend to create nearly 1,000 new apartments over the next six years at the old mill and across Piccadilly Basin, with the help of a £9m loan granted by the region’s super-council in March.
A planning application for the first phase of that is expected towards the end of this year.
Brownsfield Mill, just off the ring road at Piccadilly Basin
The council’s masterplan also earmarks both Dale Street and Ducie Street car parks for flats and offices – but pinpoints a site on Brewer Street for a new multi-storey instead.
Concerns were raised in the public consultation that no new buildings should rise above the height of existing historic buildings such as Carver’s Warehouse – but in the council’s response, officers dismiss the concerns.
They say there is no planning history to suggest taller buildings – of above 10 storeys – would not be acceptable, arguing that placing a limit on their height would stop the regeneration of the area.
The masterplan, which sits alongside ambitions for HS2 to regenerate the area around Piccadilly Station, is expected to be approved at Wednesday’s executive meeting.