Agenda item

Agenda item

138127/OO/2023 - Express Solicitors, 313-315 and 317-319 Palatine Road, Manchester, M22 4HH - Northenden Ward

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


The Committee considered the report of the Director of Planning, Building Control and Licensing regarding an outline planning application (with matters of access, layout and scale for approval) for demolition of existing buildings and redevelopment of site for up to 34 apartments and 3 townhouses (Use Class C3).


The planning application had been submitted in outline for the redevelopment of the

site following demolition of all buildings and erection of a 5 storey building to

comprise 34 apartments located along the Palatine Road frontage of the site,

together with 3 no. town houses to be located along the Allanson Road frontage.

The application had been submitted in outline with matters relating to access, layout

and scale being submitted in detail, with matters relating to the appearance and

landscaping being reserved for future reserved matters applications.


The key issues with this application were:

·       The scale of the building and its impact on the character and visual amenity of the area

·       Potential impacts on the residential amenity of residential properties in the area

·       The provision of affordable housing on the site

·       The impact on the local traffic and parking

·       The flood risk associated with the site


It was acknowledged there were concerns with the proposals, particularly around car parking and the potential impact on the local area; however, as set out in the report it was considered that the proposal would provide residential properties on brownfield land in a sustainable location with a policy compliant proportion of these being for affordable housing.


This application appears on the meeting agenda with another application submitted by the applicant for the redevelopment of another of their office sites located in Northenden for residential development in close proximity to this application proposal that application is reference number 138128/OO/2023.


Other matters raised by objectors are also addressed.


The Planning Officer had nothing to add to the printed report.


The applicant attended and addressed the Committee on the application, stating that this solicitor’s firm had started out with 1 member of staff and grown to employ numerous staff, as exampled by the use of building before the Committee today. The company had required further expansion and acquired a new site on the Sharston Estate. This had led the company into re-purposing the building as “accidental developers.” The 1950s era building had been investigated for its potential to be converted into housing stock and it was considered not viable. The two items before the Committee today (items 10 Express Solicitors & 11 Transformulas House) were part of the same development and would be a useful site for housing and some affordable homes. In terms of parking, there were 40 spaces currently but this renovation would lead to less traffic and less parking due to the amount of staff being moved off-site. The townhouse each have a garage as part of the plot and the apartments had a 70% parking provision which had satisfied the Highways Officer.


Ward Councillor Moran addressed the Committee stating that she thanked the agent and welcomed new houses to the area. Parking was a concern in this Ward but the other Local Ward Councillors were not opposed to housing on this site as more housing was required. New houses would need to deliver for residents in a sustainable way. The main concern was that the houses were terraced with no driveways and this may cause parking problems due to the 24 parking spaces available for the whole development as some households will have 2 cars. Another concern was the loss of retail units on the high street. Northenden had been improving with new restaurants and cafes in recent years which residents were in favour of. Further to this was the lack of any green space or enhancement of existing green spaces for these future occupants. The environmental effects of the demolition with no option to retro fit was another concern. Councillor Moran asked the Committee to please consider these concerns when making their decision. Regarding the most contentious element being car parking, she asked if officers would work with the developer to mitigate any impacts on the community.


The Director of Planning stated that this was a very balanced report. All affordable housing is a bonus but the Planning Team were aware that parking is a big issue. The team would be working on the Section 106 agreement so further car parking arrangements could be discussed at that point.


The Planning Officer stated that this was an outline application with a reserved matters application to follow in future, going into more detail therefore landscaping could be given further inspection. There isa travel plan in place with 100% cycle parking in the district centre and less car parking required, as suggested by the applicant due to the residents being in smaller numbers than the previous staff of the unit. Currently there was no retail unit operational on the site and the current unit didn’t lend itself well to this. These residential homes would also support the district centre.


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


Councillor Andrews enquired on what an “informative” was with regard to the report.


The Planning Officer stated that it was not a condition of the planning permission, but concerning issues the developer had to be aware of that cannot be dealt with via planning process.


Councillor Andrews then moved the officer’s recommendation of Approve for the application with an understanding that there would be conversations between the planning team and the developer to address issues raised by the Ward Councillor before the reserved matters application was placed before the Committee.


Councillor Hughes seconded the proposal.




The Committee resolved to be minded to approve the application subject to conditions within the report, subject to the completion of a section 106 agreement relating to on-site provision of 20% affordable housing.


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