Next key phase revealed for £1bn Middlewood Locks scheme

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Property developer and investor, Scarborough Group International (SGI), has submitted two reserved matters planning applications and a revised outline planning application for the next significant phase of development at its Middlewood Locks project in Salford.

The applications set out major residential and commercial development intentions for the remaining 10-acre plot of land that connects the existing community at Middlewood Locks and Salford through the Ordsall Chord railway arches to Manchester city centre.

The first reserved matters application includes a further 659 residential apartments within two blocks, one to be part 28-storeys and part 10-storeys and the other part 32-storeys and part 11-storeys, alongside ground and first floor commercial space of just under 18,000 sq ft.

The second reserved matters application is for 250 residential apartments within an L-shaped building that steps down from 15 storeys to 11 storeys. There will be a 4,500 sq ft commercial space provision with extensive public realm for residents and visitors.

A new landscaped public square linking the two plots is also included within the application.

Updated consent is also being sought as revisions to the existing masterplan for the remaining neighbourhood. This includes the potential to deliver a combination of significant Grade A workspace and circa 1,000 new homes.

An hotel and multi-storey car park form a part of the masterplan alongside further public realm around the canal basins including a canal side park, helping to open up safe pedestrian access under the railway arches and create better links to Manchester city centre. The buildings would vary from 10 to 25 storeys high.

The applications follow news that both phases one and two, comprising 1,117 apartments, have now sold out. The next phase of homes, The Railings, comprising a further 189 apartments and townhouses, has also been announced.

Paul Kelly, development director at SGI, said: “We are delighted to progress plans for the next significant stage of development at Middlewood Locks and demonstrate our commitment to press ahead with the next phases of this strategic mixed-use regeneration project.

“Over the last five years we have successfully delivered exceptional residential space and public realm to create a new neighbourhood with a real sense of place. This next phase seeks to connect Middlewood Locks with a seamless transition from the bustle of Manchester city centre through to a more tranquil living environment that is both sustainable and convenient.”

Nicola Wallis, sales and marketing director, said: “The sell-out of both phases one and two at Middlewood Locks has allowed us to progress with The Railings where we are introducing new town houses to support an increased demand for family living.

“The journey over the last five years has not only created a thriving new neighbourhood, but also delivered considerable economic returns to the region. The new reserved matters applications seek to carry us through to complete our 13-year commitment to curate one of the largest new communities in Greater Manchester.”

Middlewood Locks is a joint venture between SGI, Metro Holdings, a Singapore-listed property development and investment group, and Hualing Group, based in Urumqui, Xinjiang, China.

When completed, it will provide a total of 2,215 new homes and 900,000 sq ft of commercial space, including offices, hotel, shops, restaurants, MSCP and gym. With landscaped areas of green public space, the scheme is being developed around three large basins of the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal which connect to the River Irwell and is a short walk from the central business district and retail amenities of Manchester city centre.

Overall, the site has a gross development value of more than £1bn and is expected to create more than 7,000 jobs for the area. Five years under development, Middlewood Locks has already made a considerable economic impact, supporting 5,555 jobs.

The total local economic benefit to the Greater Manchester sub-region for phase one at Middlewood Locks is £131.5m, representing an LM3 Ratio of £1.54 for every £1 investment. Approximately 37% of the total project turnover was spent with suppliers from the sub-region, generating an additional £46.5m in the Greater Manchester economy.

Beijing Construction Engineering Group International (BCEGI) is the construction partner, while Whittam Cox Architects is design partner and Zerum is the scheme’s planning advisor.