My guilty secret

David Rudlin

David Rudlin confesses he finds Manchester’s controversial skyline thrilling

Shock news from Manchester this week: the planning committee actually refused a tower. Well it wasn’t quite a refusal: they were “minded” to refuse, and this only on the casting vote of the chair.

SimpsonHaugh’s proposed 35-storey tower, promoted by Logik, the developer fronted by the former cricketer Freddy Flintoff, was admittedly virtually in the grounds of the grade II* St George’s Church as well as being in a conservation area. But to be honest such considerations have not noticeably concerned the city’s planners in the past.

If Manchester has a tall buildings policy it would appear to run to just two words – “yes please”. As the graphic of Manchester’s changing skyline by Savills demonstrates, there are seven towers taller than the Logik tower currently under construction in Manchester including SimpsonHaugh’s Owen Street B which, as it tops out at 64 storeys, is already dwarfing the practice’s nearby Beetham Tower which has dominated the city’s skyline since its completion in 2006. However before long this too will be exceeded by the 67-storey Trinity Island scheme by Child Graddon Lewis architects and joined by 11 further towers that have been consented in the city. More are planned in neighbouring Salford.

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