The skyscrapers and thousands of new homes that will transform Manchester’s skyline

Skyscrapers and tower blocks housing thousands of new apartments and ‘co-living’ spaces across Manchester have been recommended for approval.

Four huge schemes which will further transform the city centre’s skyline will be considered at the first full virtual meeting of the council’s planning committee.

Meanwhile significant plans for co-living spaces, a form of shared living including communal spaces and shared amenities, will also be considered on July 30.

It will be the first time since March that councillors will get a say on planning decisions after emergency powers were delegated to council chief executive Joanne Roney, together with committee chair and vice chair Councillors Basil Curley and Nasrin Al.

Beetham Tower’s newest neighbours

Renaker has submitted ambitious plans to build two skyscrapers with a primary school and park between them near Mancunian Way.

The ‘Blade’ and ‘Cylinder’ towers will be the latest phase of the development firm’s Crown Street project and the wider Great Jackson Street regeneration.

Between them the buildings will house 855 apartments – a third of which will be one-bedroom flats, and the remainder a mix of two-bedroom, three-bedroom and duplex units.

a group of people in a park: A view west from the park proposed to be between the two Renaker towers

© SimpsonHaugh/Renaker Build A view west from the park proposed to be between the two Renaker towers

They will be joined at the base by a large podium which will include concierge space for both towers, a lounge, gym, sauna and shops.

Beneath that there will be a three-level basement car park with 389 spaces, and a further 855 cycle storage spots.

The proposed school is expected to be a single-form entry academy free school with capacity for 210 children, and its playing fields will be on its roof.

A new way of living is coming to Manchester

The second largest scheme which will be considered by the committee is Downing’s plans to provide a 2,224-room co-living neighbourhood at the First Street development.

These bedrooms would be housed in four buildings – three of which will step up in height – ranging from 10 to 45 storeys high and linked by new public and private outdoor areas.

a tall building in a city: The four buildings - three of which are stepped - that form the co-living neighbourhood at First Street.

© Downing The four buildings – three of which are stepped – that form the co-living neighbourhood at First Street.

Communal spaces will include a cinema, co-working spaces, health and wellbeing facilities, a cafe, communal kitchen and a resident’s lounge.

A breakdown of the co-living units shows that there will be 1,113 apartments, with between one and five bedrooms, as well as 1,091 studio apartments.

The apartments will be targeted at medium and longer term tenancies whilst the studios are expected to meet demand for shorter term tenancies of between one and 12 months.

First Street is one of several ‘shovel-ready’ schemes that Manchester council has submitted for support from a £900m government fund aimed at kickstarting post-coronavirus recovery.

The idea of co-living is still fairly new in Manchester and the UK but is established in India, major US cities and in Europe.

More co-living space set for the city centre

On the other side of the city centre, the Vita Group is hoping to provide more than 1,600 bedspaces on Water Street through its Union Living arm.

One of the buildings will be 32 storeys and will have 390 apartments compromising 210 two, three and four-bed flats and 180 studios.

a group of people walking on a city street: An artist's impression of the two Union Living co-living tower blocks.

© Vita/Denton Corker Marshall An artist’s impression of the two Union Living co-living tower blocks.

The other, slightly taller with 36 storeys, will house 188 apartments and 186 studios but three whole floors will be set aside for co-working space for those living in the building.

A planning report says the studios would be available solely on short-term lets, up to six months in length, so would not be a primary residence.

No car parking will be provided on the site, but 564 cycling spaces will be made available in the basements of both buildings and in the new public outdoor space.

New flats will mark final phase of area’s regeneration

Islington Wharf could see a further 106 flats built on the corner of Old Mill Street and Great Ancoats.

The two towers, eleven and 16 storeys high, will represent the fourth and final phase of Islington Wharf, which has seen Waterside Places transform the north eastern fringe of the city centre over 15 years.

a tall building in a city: The building, which will house 106 apartments, is the fourth and final phase of Islington Wharf

© Waterside Places/Ryder The building, which will house 106 apartments, is the fourth and final phase of Islington Wharf

In total 33 one-bed and 73 two-bedroom apartments are proposed, together with a shopfront on the corner of Old Ancoats Street.

No affordable housing is being provided as part of the scheme.

Source: Manchestereveningnews.co.uk

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