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Tuesday22 August 2017

Footballers concede Make's Manchester scheme has to change

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Welter of criticism sees Gary Neville admit ‘further refinement’ on the way

Footballers turned developers Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs have bowed to pressure from heritage groups and promised to look again at their plans by Make for a pair of towers in Manchester.

Government advisory body Historic England was the latest to flag up worries about the plans which were submitted to Manchester city council at the end of last month.

Catherine Dewar, Historic England’s planning director for the north-west, said: “We are deeply concerned about how this scheme would affect some of Manchester’s most precious heritage.

“It would have an impact on people’s appreciation and experience of the stunning town hall and library but it would also erase different layers of this area’s history, irreparably damaging the special character of the surrounding conservation area.”

Save Britain’s Heritage has also rubbished the scheme calling it “a town planning disaster of a magnitude not seen in decades” while the Twentieth Century Society also raised concerns about the plans which, as well as sitting in the Deansgate and Peter Street Conservation Areas, will be built next door to the Albert Square and St Peter’s Square Conservation Areas.

Speaking at the Mipim property fair in Cannes, Neville said: “Manchester deserves a world class development, like St. Michael’s. We believe that in a city that aspires to be global, the best of old and best of new can live together, however we are going to make further refinements – it has to be perfect for Manchester.”

A spokeswoman for the developer said it planned to make a second announcement on what the changes will be “soon”.

The changes will be the second amendments to a scheme that was first unveiled last summer.

Earlier this year, Neville said it listened to concerns after the proposals were published with a new scheme unveiled showing the main change in the appearance of the two towers – which swapped a black façade for an anodised bronze one.

The final submitted plans comprise a 201-bed five-star hotel, 159 apartments, 12,800 sq m of grade A office space and 4,500 sq m of retail and leisure space, including two new sky bars and restaurants.

Historic England said the design, height and colour of the current development would dominate the Deansgate and Peter Street Conservation Area and “dwarf the nationally important” Central Library and grade I listed town hall.

The £140 million city centre site, originally known as Jackson’s Row but now called St Michael’s, will include a brace of connected towers. This will be carried out by Chinese contractor Beijing Construction Engineering Group International.

Work will involve demolishing the Manchester Reform Synagogue, built in 1953, and Bootle Street Police Station, built in 1937. A pub, the Sir Ralph Abercromby, which dates back to the early nineteenth century, has also been slated for the wrecking ball.

Neville and Giggs are directors of Jackson’s Row Developments. Also backing the scheme is developer Brendan Flood, Singapore-based property developer Rowsley and development manager Zerum Consultant.

 

St Michaels

The scheme has changed colour from black to anodised bronze

 

 

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Readers' comments (13)

  • further refinement... from black to bronze facade to......brick?
    the change needs to be a different architect..or a competition?

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  • Refinement won't sort it. Drop Make and look beyond the red line

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  • Does Mr Neville understand the word refinement?

    Seems about as clueless as Make and the subject of context.

    Refinement is when small tweaks are made to a largely finished scheme, it irons out small glitches of an essentially solid proposal – not slapping makeup (in this case bronzer) on a pig.

    This scheme drives cart and horses through Manchester’s architectural heritage, destroying two conservation areas and adjacent to Manchester’s real jewel’s - the Grade One listed Town Hall and Central Library.

    Makes “jewellery” that it wants to deposit in the heart of this great city is by comparison of the type that you might purchase from Mr Ratner, cheap, vulgar and as almost comically out of scale, with about as much concern for quality.

    I can only guess that Make will be instructing one of their CAD monkeys to Photoshop in a different colour (again), meanwhile Mr Shuttleworth can think up some patronising architectural waffle to herald this amazing “refinement” in an attempt to make these two pigs fly.

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  • Austin Clegg

    That the future of that once great city Manchester is in the hands of a couple of ex football players says all one needs to know about how things are done these days.

    It reminds me of the way things were carved up in the 1960s by the likes of Poulson and T. Dan Smith.

    It is no coincidence that the architecture and its effect on the city is almost identical.

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  • Start by cutting off the top two thirds, then the bottom third, then don't demolish the buildings that are already there, don't ruin the views of Manchester's best buildings (town hall/library). Fire Make (again) then bugger off to Salford if you want to piss around with high rises.

    Thanks

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  • Getafix

    A real shame. Don't understand how the demolition of the police station in particular is even under consideration. MAKE, despite treating their own employees very well, represent the absolute nadir in terms of how bad architects are wrecking our cities in a way not seen since the 60s and 70s.

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  • Glad heritage organisations are becoming hugely vocal against this barbarous act of destruction & uglification/domination. However, the whole premise is ridiculous; far too tall & TOTALLY in the wrong place - outskirts of town perhaps? Stick to footie chaps!

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  • the North is always complaining about London and the south, well investment and opportunities like this to revamp a city is how it's done.

    I actually like the building, could do with more balconies but I don't mind this at all.

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  • This isn't an opportunity or an investment. This is opportunism, trying to screw and appropriate maximum profit out of the affective value accumulated by the surroundings over the years, no matter what the detrimental effect to everyone else. A real investment opportunity would be something like the development of an underground system for Manchester and the surrounding towns, rather than the dinky semi-serious tram they now rave about. Or money to rehabilitate the less fashionable sections of the centre, where behind the one busy street there tend to be several derelict streets. Or more value-added businesses moving back to the city and its surroundings. Two ugly, concrete monstrosities that destroy the little that's left of the cityscape is not the kind of opportunity and investment anyone can possibly welcome, apart from the developers.

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  • investment as in bringing people to the area. Gentrification basically. You don't always need developers to invest in an area this can be done by Joe Bloggs by making them want to live in an area.

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