Skyscraper set to tower over Northern Quarter and Ancoats will be even taller than planned

A new skyscraper with hundreds of apartments to be built between the northern quarter and Ancoats could be even higher than originally planned.

Plans for 485 apartments in a 34-story tower on Port Street and an 11-story tower in Great Ancoats Street have been submitted to Manchester council.

It comes months after Cheshire-based developer Select Property Group put forward proposals for a 31-story apartment building on the same site that local resident groups and councilors say is too big.

READ MORE: North Quarter Crown and Anchor pub closes after nearly 20 years

But the final proposal revealed this week even exceeds the 33-story structure envisioned in the master plan for the Piccadilly Basin region.

Piccadilly Ward Councilor Sam Wheeler, who represents residents of the neighborhood where the skyscraper would be located, said the planned building was “too big”.

He also complained about the lack of affordable housing in the proposal.



A view of the 34-story tower from the North Quarter

The “build to rent” program, which includes a shared workspace and a gym for residents, would be managed by Affinity Living, a subsidiary of Select.

No affordable housing would be built on the site, but the developer has offered to pay Manchester Council £ 750,000 to provide affordable housing elsewhere.

A financial viability assessment submitted with the planning requests explains that the £ 154million development, which would take six years, is expected to generate only an 18pc profit margin, below the industry standard.

But Earl Wheeler says the proposal is not in line with council policy.

He said: “They can talk about sustainability as much as they want.

“Don’t build it if you’re not making money.”

Manchester council policy states that 20pc of new housing in large residential complexes must be affordable or an equivalent financial contribution must be made.

But this is subject to the fact that the developer receives a “reasonable profit” for a project.

A statement from Lambert Smith Hampton, who prepared the Financial Viability Assessment, confirms that the developer has offered the board £ 750,000.

He said: “Lambert Smith Hampton is of the opinion that the program is unable to provide affordable housing on site.

“The economic benefits of delivering a development of this scale will be significant, as it creates 485 high-quality housing units for a wide range of people in the city.”

Plans call for 47 underground parking spaces, all of which could be equipped in the future with charging stations for electric vehicles, as well as 485 spaces for bicycles.

The request should be decided by the planning committee.

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