City council proposal for 128 new homes recommended for approval

The proposed This City scheme in Ancoats

Manchester City Council planning officers have recommended approval for a new £30m city council housing scheme in the Ancoats part of the city.

The planning committee will consider the application at its meeting next Thursday (September 1).

The aim is to create a total of 128 homes, comprising two blocks, one of eight storeys containing 68 units, and a five-storey building of 50 apartments, and 10 three-storey townhouses, on brownfield land to the west of Rodney Street.

The proposal is the first project by the city council’s ‘This City’ housing company which seeks to develop high quality, low carbon housing for all Mancunians as part of boosting the city’s housing supply which includes providing affordable housing.

Thirty per cent of the new homes would be available for affordable rent, based on the Manchester Living Rent, and the remaining homes would be available for market sale.

The construction value of the project is £30m and is expected to create 548 construction jobs for the 24-month build period. There would be 466 jobs in the supply chain. The GVA of the construction programme to the Manchester economy would be £14.1m.

The This City company aims to develop high quality, low carbon homes, and to deliver 500 homes every year with any profits made from market rented homes going towards the provision of affordable homes.

Seven objections to the scheme have been received, ranging from claims that the area lacks spaces for the community, the scheme would take up valuable green space around Ancoats, which there is very little of, it would deprive local residents and wildlife of an essential green corridor and natural environment within the city, to a claim that the proposal is being used as a gateway to unprecedented further development and gentrification across Manchester in the midst of ecological, environmental and social crises when what is actually needed is preservation and care for community resources and concerted efforts at all levels to make the most of what already exists.

However, planning notes to the committee say: “The site is in an important regeneration area where change and development is expected to take place in line with council regeneration frameworks.

“This proposal would contribute positive (sic) to the supply of new homes in the area by providing 128 apartments along with three and four bedroom townhouses – 30% of the new homes would be available for Manchester Living Rent.”

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