Addendum to the Christie Hospital Christie Strategic Planning Framework
Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: No
In June 2014 the Christie Strategic Planning Framework (SPF) had been considered approved (Minute Exe/14/055). In April 2017 a fire had caused substantial damage to the Paterson Building on the Christie Hospital site. That building had not been encompassed with the SPF when it was approved in 2014. Therefore, in March 2019 we had considered and endorsed as the basis for public consultation an addendum to the Christie SPF to provide a context for the future development of the site of the Paterson Building (Minute Exe/19/34).
A review of refurbishment options for the Patterson Building had revealed that it would not be possible to repair and retain the building and that it will need to be demolished. The purpose of the addendum to the SPF was therefore to help establish how the size, form and mass of a new building would be dictated by the core cancer research functions to be accommodated inside it. It was intended to also show how a bespoke architectural solution could ensure that floor layouts and vertical arrangements meet the specialist research, healthcare and collaboration needs, with individual labs adjacent both horizontally and vertically to allow the speed and ease of movement of people.
The consultation on the draft SPF Addendum had taken place in April and May 2019. The consultation period had ended on 16 May 2019 after a six-week period. Consultation letters had been sent out to around 4,000 local residents, landowners, council members and other stakeholders. Those letters had explained the consultation process, how to participate, and where to access the draft document. A copy of the draft had been published on the Council’s website, and comments had been invited.
Around 500 individual responses were received that opposed the adoption of the Addendum. Those included representations from The Withington Civic Society and The Withington Village Regeneration Partnership. Many of those objecting had commented that they recognised and valued the work undertaken at The Christie but were unable to support the building proposals in the draft Addendum. Two petitions opposing the proposals had also been received: one online that has 280 signatures and one hand written with 121 signatures.
Forty individual responses had been received in support of the proposals and about 2,000 postcards had also expressed support.
Responses have been received from local ward councillors: Stanton, Leech, Kilpatrick, Kelly Simcock, Wilson and Chambers.
The report explained that the objections to the proposals in the draft Addendum broadly fell into five categories:
· that the process of producing an addendum to the SPF was not an appropriate way to deal with the potential redevelopment of a single building;
· the building would be too big for the site and the area;
· that it would be possible to distribute the new floor-space more efficiently at a lower height, which would provide larger building floorplates;
· adverse impacts of additional car parking and traffic; and
· detailed issues about the impact on the amenity of nearby homes and on the wider area.
For each of these categories the range of more specific issues that had been raised were set out in the report. The report also detailed the responses of the local ward councillors who had responded.
For each of these categories the report then set out responses to the issues that had been raised. It was also explained that many of the concerns about the impact of the proposed scheme on the amenity of residents in the area, whist being very important matters, did not come within the remit of the Executive or the adoption of the Addendum to the SPF. They were instead matters that would have to be fully considered as part of the determination of the planning application which had been submitted.
The meeting was addressed by Councillor Kelly Simcock, a ward councillor for the Didsbury East Ward. She expressed her support for the redevelopment of the Patterson building in a way that would be sensitive as possible to the concerns of the local community and to residents’ concerns about the proposed height of the building.
The meeting was also addressed by Councillor Wills, a ward councillor for the Withington Ward. He too shared residents’ concerns about the building’s height and sought an assurance that all options had been examined to reduce the height of the building. He also expressed concerns about the possible introduction of retail facilities in the base of the new building and the possible harmful impact those might have on the nearby village centre.
The meeting was then addressed by Mr Nick Jones, the project sponsor for the redevelopment at the Christie. He told the meeting how the project would build on the strengths of the Christie Hospital that were already well established in Manchester. The displacement of staff after the fire in the former building had been very detrimental to the research work on the site and harmful to the effective cooperation of researchers and clinicians dealing with the treatment of cancers. He explained that the design of the proposed building was to encourage ‘team science’ with a research environment that would help the Christie attract and retain the world’s top talent, and thereby to bring substantial benefits the people of Manchester and the region.
Members of the Executive and the Consultative Panel spoke on the wide range of views that had been expressed by consultees and there was recognition of the concerns and objections to the proposed height of the new building, and whether the case had been made that the size of the proposed building was justified by the need to provide high quality and world-leading research and collaboration space. Assurance were also given that such a building would not set a precedent for other planning applications as the very specific requirements of the intended use of this new building would be a material consideration that could not be applied to applications for other tall buildings in that part of the city.
Having considered the responses to the consultation it was agreed that the proposed addendum to the SPF sought to capture a major research and medical facility within Manchester which would have significant medical and economic benefits for the City and the region. Whilst residents in the area clearly value the work undertaken at the Christie they also have considerable concerns about the height of the new building and the wider issues of additional traffic and parking that would arise once it was operational. The draft addendum did not set out a policy position but recognised the opportunity there was to develop a facility of national and international significance at the site, it would help to ensure that The Christie would remain a strategically significant clinical, research and employment facility. The addendum was therefore approved and adopted.
1. To note the outcome of the public consultation on the Addendum to the 2014 Christie Strategic Planning Framework.
2. To note the matters raised at the meeting by Councillors K Simcock and Wills, and Mr N Jones of the Christie Hospital.
3. To approve the addendum to the 2014 Christie Strategic Planning Framework (SDF) and request that the Planning and Highways Committee take the Framework into account as a material consideration when determining planning applications for the site.
Publication date: 09/09/2019
Date of decision: 24/07/2019
Decided at meeting: 24/07/2019 - Executive