Green light for Airport City North

AIRPORT City North, the £650m enterprise zone development at Manchester Airport which promises to create 11,000 jobs, has been approved by the city’s planning committee.

The development covers 65 acres north of the airport terminals on either side of the M56 spur road, and the concept is for high-quality offices and a 530,000 sq ft advanced manufacturing district.

There are also plans for hotels, retail and leisure facilities.

Manchester Airport Group’s Airport City director, John Atkins, said: “The planning approval is a major milestone, underlining the progress made in the last 12 months and enables us to progress to the delivery stage in 2013, driving forward opportunities to attract investment and create jobs.

“Manchester is already well-established as the global gateway for the North – Airport City will not only enhance this status, but also further the city’s ambition to become a major European and global business city, by bringing a world-class commercial product that is sustainable and innovative to the UK for the first time.”

There was some local opposition to the development by residents opposed to the loss of open space and the increased traffic. One opponent questioned the democracy of the planning process, stating Manchester City Council was both “applicant and approver”, due to its 55% shareholding of the airport.

Manchester architect 5plus is the lead designer of the consultancy team. Altrincham landscape designer Planit is also involved.