Agenda item

Agenda item

137399/FO/2023 - Land bounded by Upper Brook Street, Cottenham Street and Kincardine Road, Manchester, M13 9TD - Ardwick Ward & 137401/FO/2023 - Land between Upper Brook Street, Kincardine Road and Grosvenor Street Manchester - Ardwick Ward

The report of the Director of Planning, Building Control and Licensing is enclosed.


The Committee considered the reports of the Director of Planning, Building Control and Licensing regarding:


137399/FO/2023 - the erection of a 6 to 9 storey building for Sci-Tech use (Use Class E (g)(ii)) and 265sqm of a cafe/bar (Use Class E (b)), and a 9 to 23 storey building for Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) (Use Sui Generis), comprising 737 bedrooms and 293sqm of community use (Use Class F2 (b)) and 80sqm of commercial floorspace (Use Class E), alongside new public realm, access, parking, and associated works following demolition of existing buildings.


114 objections (form 78 households) had been received. Councillors Muse and

Abdullatif object.




137401/FO/2023 - Full planning application for the demolition of existing buildings and

erection of three 12/14/29 storey buildings to be used for Purpose Built Student Accommodation (Use Sui Generis), comprising 983 bedrooms in total and 506sqm of ground floor ancillary uses (café/commercial and convenience store - Use Classes E (a)/(b)/(c)), three buildings comprising 5/7/9 storeys for Science and Innovation uses (Use Class E (g)(i) & (ii)) and 834sqm ground floor community uses (retail/ cafés and

medical facility (Use Classes E (a)/(b) and (e)), and the provision of new public realm, two new public squares, new access and parking, and associated works.


Manchester Metropolitan University supported the proposal.


113 (from 76 households) objections were received during the first round of

notification, 97 (from 77 households) had been received. Councillors Muse and

Abdullatif object.


The Planning Officer stated that they recommended additional conditions regarding a student wellbeing strategy. The Planning Officer drew attention to matters in the late representations report regarding 6 additional objections for item 6 - 137401/FO/2023 - Land between Upper Brook Street, Kincardine Road and Grosvenor Street Manchester - Ardwick Ward. The Planning Officer stated that all points raised in those late representations were addressed within the report.


An objector attended the hearing and addressed the Committee, stating that it was not the job of the Brunswick community to solve the problems faced by students with a longer commuting distance. This was an unsustainable application as there was already PBSA in the area which stretched the resources. Adding this development would have a further negative effect on the community. Air pollution would be affected and the Medlock area already had the highest record in Manchester. There were also biodiversity issues to consider. Children in the area have a right to cleaner air and a cleaner urban environment. This proposal would see people using residential car parking spaces. Claiming that there would be zero additional cars was not realistic. This development would tower over the residents and block their light. There were 2 public consultations and the objector had attended. There were no buildings of similar height and massing in the area. 5,000 extra people and associated deliveries and taxis etc. was considered as a contempt for the community. The residents of this area wanted an affordable supermarket and affordable housing. As a resident of the area for the last 10 years, there had already been lots of building work endured which had a negative effect on residents. This was an attack on working class people.


Two applicant agents attended and spoke for each of the two applications, the first stating that the developers were proud of the work they had already undertaken in Manchester. They employed great design management and had consulted with and listened to the community as well as planning officers. There was a demand for student accommodation in Manchester. The developers understood the concerns of the local residents and had reduced the size of the scheme accordingly. This was an experienced operator who had given consideration to the mental health of students who would be based there. The scheme would create 5,000 construction jobs and there was a growing demand for professionals that would be served by this application being granted. There would be a local, affordable store, medical centre, 3 acres of public realm and sports facilities as part of the development for the use of local residents.


The second agent stated that they represented a leading developer. This application would bring people together and create a university setting to compete with London, Oxford and Cambridge. This would create a dedicated property which would connect for tailored support to tenants. 1,500 new jobs would be created once completed. There would be a research and development science centre which would link with school and create skilled jobs. This development would deliver growth and prosperity to Manchester.


Ward Councillor Abdullatif addressed the Committee and stated that she had a great number of conversations with local residents about this application and none of them were in support of this development. She was in attendance with Ward Councillor Muse to object. Councillor Abdullatif suggested the Committee undertake a site visit to understand the concerns of residents and expressed that this was a huge development. There were 1,500 residents in the local estate and students would add 13,000 more into the area daily. This was not viable. The local houses were all low rise and the development was not in keeping with these surroundings. There would be a 29-storey tower, a small road and then two storey houses. The Committee were asked to take the residents’ quality of life into consideration. The additional commuter traffic for this development would add to the already considerable strain felt by this community of Ardwick. Upper Brook Street was already a very polluted road and the Brunswick area one of the worst polluted in the country. The area is committed to nature conservation, as exemplified by the model green development area, funded by GMCA and supported by Manchester University. The local action group reject the scheme as being harmful to Gartside Gardens which is at risk of over-shadowing. Children understand the concerns of what this development means to local residents and the promises made do not go far enough. In her closing statement, Councillor Abdullatif asked the Committee to think about local people and reject this application.


Ward Councillor Muse addressed the Committee and stated that he was at the meeting to represent Ardwick. He stated that he and the residents were not against buildings of any kind but this development, next to two storey family homes, needed to be realistic. This scheme contradicts the council’s own policies and the transient nature of student lifestyles would be challenging for the area. Students do not pay council tax and this scheme would be a larger student dwelling area than Fallowfield.

There would be refuse and sewage problems, the medical centre was already overwhelmed and children in the area already have a high rate of asthma and eczema and other respiratory problems. Nurses have voiced their concerns about these issues and a 12 year old child had written a letter to ask that the Local Ward Councillors help them so that the development would not take their natural light. This child was a symbol of the area’s future. There was no supermarket servicing the area and only one medical centre. It was stated that getting an appointment at the medical centre was akin to a lottery win. Councillor Muse implored the Committee to hear his impassioned plea for the community’s future.


The Planning Officer addressed the concerns and stated that these were very long reports which covered all issues raised. The objective for Manchester City Council was to deliver life-science space over 650,000 square feet. The scheme had been tested for its viability and it was considered necessary to provide PBSA at this scale. The application had been reduced by 12 to 13 floors and the reduction represented the minimum required and had been tested independently. The resulting figures fed into the size of the life-science space and this was the amount that was required for the scheme to be viable. The scale and community had all been considered and it was understood that this was a large and imposing development, but the size of the development doesn’t make it unacceptable. This would have to be tested against MCC and national policies. All implications of sunlight, noise, wind, air quality, traffic, parking and biodiversity etcetera were all set out clearly in the report.


The Chair invited Committee members to make comments or ask questions.


Councillor Johnson stated that it was important to consider the resident’s point of view. She questioned how the air quality could not be worsened by the granting of this application, considering the additional traffic associated with the construction, staff and deliveries. This area already had high levels of air pollution. Car free areas should be prioritised, although cars are still required for expected online deliveries. Disabled people also rely on a certain number of parking space availability. Regarding the claim of increased biodiversity in the report, Councillor Johnson noted that tree planting was part of the scheme but it was not a particularly green plot, compared to the size of the buildings. The public realm appeared to be walkways with bushes and trees. The scheme may address the strategic framework in adding to a vibrant city but this needed to be balanced with the impact on local communities. The addition of this development, if agreed, would change the face of Ardwick for the future and potentially exclude families from living near the city centre. Councillor Johnson noted that the size of the development had been noted as not relevant and asked how this was so and agreed with the objector’s call for a site visit and proposed this as a motion.


Councillor Hewitson seconded the proposal for a site visit stating that this development does not sit well in this location.


Councillor Davies sought clarity on some site plans in the report.


The Planning Officer confirmed that the site plans were covered under the second application under item 6 in the agenda.


The Planning Officer then responded to Councillor Johnson’s comments on air quality by referring to page 96 and 97 where it was stated that construction could have some impact unless subject to mitigation, although these measures were set out in the report. After construction, this was to be a largely car-free scheme and colleagues in Environmental Health state that there would be zero impact, also detailed in the report. There were already two other huge car parks nearby at the Aquatic Centre and Circle Square which currently operated at around 35% capacity. There were also detailed strategies for deliveries within the report. Over the two sites there would be 3 acres of public realm. In terms of the impact of students on the community, there were large numbers of students occupying mainstream accommodation in Ardwick. Homes are being used to house students with 47% of these houses in Ardwick being built to rent. There was a need to build PBSA where students were choosing to live as without it there was additional pressure on family accommodation and these numbers would rise.


The Director of Planning addressed Councillor Johnson’s comments by stating that the permanent impacts of the scheme were all addressed within both reports, this was a brownfield site earmarked for development unless there were material considerations opposing this. There were social, economic and environmental benefits, creating much needed jobs and high quality jobs, additional to the PBSA also set out within the report.


Councillor Andrews Stated that he understood the requirement for additional PBSA in Manchester but agreed with Councillor Hewitson that a site visit was necessary to fully understand the impact to local residents.




The Committee resolved to approve a motion for a site visit for both applications in order to fully understand the potential impact of the developments on the local community.


Supporting documents: