120635/FO/2018 - Hotspur Press 2 Gloucester Street Manchester M1 5QR
The report of the Head of Planning, Building Control and Licensing is attached.
The site comprises a vacant, former mill complex known as Hotspur Press that is bounded by the River Medlock, Gloucester Street and the Grade II Listed Altrincham Railway Viaduct.The complex was originally used for textile manufacturing and was converted to a printing press in 1903 and remained in use as such until 2011. None of the buildings are listed or within or adjacent to a conservation area but some are non-designated heritage assets.
Officers told the Committee that there were some minor changes to the conditions, and that these were set out in the printed late representations.
The applicant’s agent spoke to the Committee in support of the proposals, and explained the scope and concept of the application. The development will retain as much of the original building as possible, but given the very poor state of the building the retention will be minimal. The 1880 mill can be retained but the 1801 mill has significant issues which makes it unviable to retain more than the façade.
The applicant acknowledged the interest in the site from both the local community and as a wider historical feature, considered that a residential led mixed use development incorporating a tall building would be consistent with national and local planning policy, and would promote a quality neighbourhood, economic development and sustainable travel patterns. The site is appropriate for a tall building and the development would be well designed and of a high quality. It would fulfil an important role in providing residential accommodation within the City Centre.
The development would not have a significant detrimental impact on the settings of nearby listed buildings or on the character and appearance of the nearby listed buildings. The development would regenerate a site that is in need of investment, including retaining and refurbishing significant elements of the non-designated heritage asset, providing additional public realm and increasing permeability within the area. The proposals would also make a contribution towards the off-site provision of affordable housing via a commuted sum with a reconciliation later in the process.
The Committee commented that it would help them to have some of the more detailed drawings and pictures when determining such high profile and important applications. In addition the Committee noted the comments of the Manchester Conservation Areas and Historic Buildings Panel and Greater Manchester Archaeological Advisory Service as summarised in the report, and requested that as much of the fabric of the building be retained either for other uses, or offered to heritage organisations for preservation.
Officers confirmed that they had carefully analysed how much of the original buildings could be retained, and were satisfied that the maximum amount that could be kept and still make the scheme viable was being retained. Officers also confirmed that as much building fabric will be retained and reused as is possible.
The Committee asked for clarification as to how assets of historical significance are not overlooked during the consultation process, given that for example, Historic England is not a statutory consultee. Officers confirmed that a specialist archaeological service would be used, and that the requirements of recording anything of significance is conditioned.
The Committee also welcomed the inclusion of information about S106 contributions, and asked for clarification as to the total contribution seemed low for a development of this size. Officers confirmed that this was a very difficult building to develop and explained that the figure in the report is the minimum that will be received, and there will be a further reconciliation as the development progressed.
The Committee asked for more information about the connection to Whitworth Street West, and officers confirmed that there will be a link but not from this site as the Railway viaduct is not within the control of the applicant.
The Committee also asked if the condition regarding the River Medlock, could be enhanced to clean up the river and make it a visual asset to the scheme, and officers confirmed that as much is being done to progress this improvement, but also reminded the Committee that the applicant can only manage the part of the river that is within this site.
To approve the application subject to the conditions and reasons in the report and late representation, the finalisation of the S106 negotiations and the strengthened conditions as discussed.