Agenda item

Agenda item

125654/FO/2019 - Former Church Inn, 84 Cambridge Street, Manchester, M15 6BP - Hulme Ward

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


The application was for the erection of a nine-storey purpose built student accommodation building comprising sixty-two units and associated landscape and highway works, following demolition of existing structures.


The site is located on the west side of Cambridge Street, Hulme, just north of the junction with Cavendish Street and to the south of the Mancunian Way. The site is viewed in the context of the Mancunian Way and Manchester City Centre when approaching Manchester from the south. The site measures 0.3 hectares comprises a vacant public house known as the Church Inn, the public house closed in March 2016. The site is bounded by student accommodation blocks immediately to the north (Cambridge House) and south (Manchester House), Cambridge Street to the east with Manchester Metropolitan University student accommodation and facilities on the opposite side of the street. To the west lies a housing estate managed by One Manchester, the site immediately adjoins the turning head to Bristle Street and lies in close proximity to property on Elmdale Walk and Dalesman Walk.


The Committee had on 14 March 2019 resolved to defer determination of an application in order to undertake a site visit before making a decision. The site visit took place on 11 April 2019, and the Committee were minded to refuse the application due to concerns expressed regarding the negative impact of the proposed development on neighbouring properties resulting in a loss of amenity, overlooking and reduction in daylight. The application was deferred and the Director of Planning asked to bring a report which addresses the concerns raised and potential reasons for refusal. The applicant reviewed the scheme to address the concerns expressed by the Planning and Highways Committee and revised plans had been submitted in June 2019.


The Planning Officer drew the Committee’s attention to the late representation that had been submitted which provided further information on representations and objections made. It also proposed a further condition that should be attached to a consent. Objections received referred to the negative impact of the development on residential amenity and the loss of green space. The applicant’s late representations included copies of correspondence with two local councillors saying that those councillors no longer opposed the application.


A local resident spoke at the meeting to object to the application. He referred to the guidelines relating to loss of daylight and sunlight and asserted that the report showed there would be 152 transgressions of those guidelines if the scheme was built. He referred to the extent that the glazing of the building would result in the potential overlooking of the windows and gardens of adjacent properties, some at short distances. The development would also require access over land that was in other ownership, and permission for that had not been sought. Providing that access would result in the loss of an amenity space enjoyed by the existing residents of neighbouring properties. The access to the site was constrained and unable to deal with the likely traffic volumes or provide sufficient access for emergency vehicles.


The meeting was addressed by a representative of the applicant. He explained that this application was the developer’s first scheme of student accommodation in Manchester, although they had much experience from other universities across the UK. Their approach is to work in partnership with universities, local council and other local community stakeholders to ensure that their student accommodation developments are rooted in the communities. He explained how the proposals had been changed since they were considered in 2019 so as to address the concerns that the committee had raised at that time. The scale of the development had been reduced, bringing about improvements in the daylight and sunlight available to occupants. The development was supported by the university and two of the ward councillors.


The meeting was next addressed by Councillor Wright, a ward councillor for the Hulme ward. She said that the building was still too big for the proposed location, out of keeping with the neighbouring properties and would result in significant detriment to the residents of the neighbouring properties. She referred to the extent of the objections to the scheme from local people. She spoke of the unsatisfactory proposals for access and for the servicing and removal of waste, and where the bins for the building were to be sited. He asked the Committee to reject the application.


The Planning Officer confirmed that the applicant was negotiating with the other land owner to secure the necessary access to the rear of the building, but that the right of access over the land was primarily a legal matter for the applicant. Good access to the building and the servicing of the bins were to be addressed by the conditions being proposed. He confirmed that in planning terms the loss of daylight within this building, and to one of the adjacent buildings, was considered to be acceptable as the guidelines were intended to be used in a flexible manner.


The Committee referred to the size and massing of the proposed development and the impact it would have on the amenity of the neighbouring properties, as well as the concerns about how access to the rear was to be arranged, together with the proposals for waste management at the rear of the building. Members were also concerned by the suggestion that students did not need to enjoy the same levels of daylight as residents in other types of properties. Members also felt that there could be significant traffic generated at certain times of the day, if the experiences from other buildings in the city centre were replicated here.




Minded to refuse for the reasons due to the negative impact of the proposed development on the character of the area by virtue of the height of the development proposal, the impact upon residential amenity with regards to the development proposals having an overbearing impact that would result in a loss of light to neighbouring property and with regards to the impact of deliveries, servicing and noise disturbance having an impact upon residential amenity.

Supporting documents: