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Plans for four ‘iconic’ skyscrapers approved by Manchester City Council

£751 million plans for the tower blocks will include a total of 1,950 apartments.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 18th February 2022

The Manchester city centre skyline is set to change once again, as a nine-year project to build four “iconic” skyscrapers has been approved by councillors.

Set to be known as ‘Trinity Islands’, the £751 million plans for the SimpsonHaugh-designed apartment blocks – which were submitted by residential tower specialists, Renaker – are to take shape on two pieces of land on the banks of the River Irwell, and will include a total of 1,950 apartments.

The apartments are to be built on a car park plot between Regent Road, Liverpool Road, and Water Street.

Read more: Plans submitted to build two ‘striking’ twin skyscrapers in Manchester city centre

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As well as the residential facilites, each of the skyscrapers will feature co-working space, a gym, and lounge areas, and then externally, each building would also have a private residents’ garden that’s accessed directly from the ground floor space. 

There’ll also be private underground car parks and cycle storage within both the three-storey basements.

Nearly two-thirds of the site off Trinity Way will become green space open to the public.

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This approval by Manchester City Council comes after previous plans for five towers – including one which would have been the tallest residential building in Western Europe – failed to materialise, however one of the skyscrapers in these latest plans by Renaker would still be among the tallest towers in the UK outside of London, second in Manchester to the South Tower at Deansgate Square.

Controversially however, none of the new apartments would be deemed “affordable”, as the developer said this would affect the financial viability of the scheme.

An initial contribution of £106,000 towards affordable housing elsewhere in the city has been agreed and a “clawback” clause means the developer could be asked to contribute more cash if the project becomes more profitable.

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The developer also agreed to contribute £1.5 million towards a new school on Crown Street.

Read more: Manchester city centre primary school gets green light 

During yesterday’s planning meeting, Manchester City Council’s planning development manager Dave Roscoe told the committee that there were some “very serious challenges” with the site, but that this project was “special”, and admitted that some significant financial public benefits come from the scheme, including a £10 million public space and the funding towards the school.

The nine-year £751 million project has been approved by councillors this week / Credit: Renaker & SimpsonHaugh

Speaking on the green light given to the plans, a spokesperson for Renaker said the company is “delighted” with the decision, adding: “We look forward to delivering these new, iconic buildings, as well as new homes and facilities of the highest quality for residents and the wider community.”

Deansgate councillor Joan Davies, who represents the ward where the site is located, said she was “disappointed” with the amount of affordable housing, but was pleased the “clawback” clause created the possibility for the council to demand more money from the developer later.

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Manchester City Council Leader Bev Craig added: “It’s important that we look at major schemes like Trinity Islands in the round, alongside our city’s plans and the positive impact that this sort of growth continues to have on our city.

“I am passionate about ensuring that Manchester’s growth benefits everyone.

“Manchester remains a place of prodigious population growth and the city can only meet the demand for new housing through major schemes such as this one, which also brings brownfield land back into use.”

She added: “Trinity Islands is a significant investment in our city, which is testament to the confidence developers continue to have in Manchester, despite the ongoing economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This development alone will create 2,000 homes and 4,000 jobs in the construction stage.”

Featured Image – Renaker & SimpsonHaugh