Student residential scheme amended following two years of consultation

'Student Castle'
X The Business Desk

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Following 21 months of consultation with the residents of Macintosh Village, GMS (Parking) will submit amendments to Manchester City Council for its proposed 55-storey tower on Hulme Street, formerly known as Student Castle.

The project was originally submitted for planning in September 2018, since when there has been continuous engagement with residents – revised plans have been presented via virtual consultation this week.

At 165m tall, the development will provide 853 high-quality studios for students

The main revisions that have directly resulted from consultation include:

  • An entirely new construction strategy that reduces the construction period by at least 12 months.
  • A new high-quality, modern, energy-efficient, low-maintenance 97-space car park, including a secure 64-space cycle store for sole use by residents. It has been proposed to transfer the freehold ownership of the car park to the shareholders of the Macintosh Village Car Park Management company.
  • A parking relocation strategy that provides free alternative parking near to the site throughout the build period.
  • A revised energy strategy which will result in a 42% reduction in operational carbon.
  • Greening and biodiversity improvements to surrounding streets through the delivery of trees and on-street planters.
  • Providing community facilities in the form of, providing use of a meeting room for community meetings, periodic access to the 54th floor amenity space, plus use of the gym.
  • Taking inspiration from the history of Macintosh Village, the scheme will also deliver a large relief on the gable end, which will animate the street.

GMS director Edward Cade said: “The consultation process has been important, and we have been working with the community to ensure the amendments to the scheme have been widely considered.

“As a team we have welcomed feedback and have tried to be as flexible as possible to deliver a building that has a positive relationship with the local area.”

Over the past two years, the planning team has consulted proposed revisions on nine different occasions, to ensure all feedback has been considered and the best version of the scheme is resubmitted.

Glenn Howell Architects designed the scheme, the name of which is yet to be unveiled, and Deloitte led the consultation process as planning adviser.

Ed Britton, associate director at Deloitte Real Estate, said: “The planning application was submitted in September 2018, and a huge amount of work has been undertaken to hold constructive dialogue with MVRA and proactively address concerns raised.

“Improvements have been brought forward following a detailed design review and the willingness to positively respond to significant consultation with MVRA and other key stakeholders. We have presented the revised plans which take into consideration each element of consultation.

“The scheme demonstrates exceptional design quality, will make an exciting contribution to the emerging Oxford Road cluster, and will be a huge investment that will support the city’s economic recovery at this crucial time.”

Forecasted timescales for construction would see work start on-site in the second quarter of 2021.

WSP is structural and M+E engineer, while Arcadis is project manager for the project.

Edward Cade added: “Our aim with this project is to directly respond to the need for high-quality purpose-built accommodation that increases Manchester’s range of student accommodation.

“There has never been a more important time to support the universities by delivering world-leading facilities that will attract students to Manchester.

“With the SME incubator space, we aim to help nurture growing businesses and support the strategic growth objectives of the city and the Oxford Road Corridor.”

Deloitte and the wider project team held a virtual public meeting today (June 22), where revised plans were presented, and questions were taken from all key stakeholders.