Two planning applications have been submitted to turn what is described as a “challenging” area of Manchester city centre into a “vibrant neighbourhood”.
As part of the masterplan to “progress the vision” for the city’s emerging Red Bank neighbourhood, Far East Consortium (FEC) – the developer behind Manchester’s Victoria North joint venture partnership with Manchester City Council – has this week submitted ambitious plans to transform over 30 acres of largely brownfield site into a thriving community.
These new plans include 4,800 new homes, alongside a range of commercial and social facilities
Developers say the plans represent “one of the largest residential planning applications” to come forward in Manchester in recent years.
The planning submissions are said to have followed an “extensive design and consultation process” to develop a masterplan for the neighbourhood centred on FEC’s ‘Wild Urbanism concept’ – which the developer says prioritises green space, biodiversity, active travel, and public realm alongside city centre living.
Initial plans propose up to 3,250 of the new homes and more than 160,000 sq ft of non-residential floor space – including commercial uses, a health centre, primary school, residential amenities, and community spaces – while detailed plans have also been submitted for three plots on Dantzic Street, which is adjacent to FEC’s 634-home Victoria Riverside scheme.
This proposed scheme of 1,550 homes would see seven buildings varying in height between six and 34 storeys constructed – with a mix of one, two, and three-bed apartments and townhouses that developers say cater for “a diverse mix” of people and of type and tenure of home, including build to rent (BTR), affordable, and open market sale.
Away from the residential offering, the outline proposals also include the creation of new public realm with “extensive areas” of landscaping, greenspace, and wetlands aimed at supporting a minimum 10% biodiversity net gain across the neighbourhood.
While the detailed proposals also include a new high street, including 20,000 sq ft of commercial and retail space “earmarked” for local independent businesses.
Again, “extensive landscaping” would be carried out on Dantzic Street and Dalton Street – with tree planting, resurfacing, widened footpaths, and new cycle lanes.
Hilary Brett, project director at FEC, called Red Bank is a “unique area of the city”, and said there is “huge opportunity to enhance what already exists” and to create “a vibrant neighbourhood” with these newly-submitted plans.
Cllr Gavin White, Manchester City Council’s executive member for housing and development, added: “This area at the edge of the city centre is a challenging prospect, but these planning applications are part of an ambitious vision for this new neighbourhood and community, bringing thousands of new homes, investment and life to a part of Manchester that has been underused for many years.”
Featured Image – FEC
This unassuming house in Altrincham has a hidden hillside Hobbit house in the garden
From this outside, this home in Altrincham looks pretty normal – at street-level it just looks like your standard suburban dormer bungalow, albeit with some fairly stunning architecture.
But head around to the back garden, and there’s a surprise in store, for included in its £4.5m price tag is an actual Hobbit house, buried into the hillside.
The adorable addition comes complete with round wooden door, stone walls, and a tiny bench outside.
It appears that the current owners are using it as a cosy den or office space.
That’s not all in that massive one-acre garden either – there’s also a safari-style tree hut wedged up on stilts, accessed up a wooden spiral staircase from a decked area.
Then you get to the rest of the house in Trafford, which is way, way bigger than it looks from the front.
Inside the main building, there are six bedrooms, six bathrooms, and two reception rooms, plus all manner of luxury touches like dressing rooms, en suites and a utility room.
The lounge is a striking focal point, built into a round extension with floor-to-ceiling windows soaking in the views of the lush gardens.
There’s also a sitting room with a pitched roof and oak beams, which, again, feels like it’s been lifted straight out of Hobbiton (though thankfully built for taller humans).
Oh, did I mention it has a pool, too?
There’s a whole spa building, with an indoor pool, jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and gymnasium/office area, with bi-fold doors opening onto the gardens and barbecue area.
It’s up for sale at £4.5m with Savills in Knutsford, who say: “This fabulous family home is situated in a desirable pocket of Bowdon in an extremely private and secure position.
“The gardens are private and extensive, extending to one acre.”
Property agent Jamie Carter added: “This really is a unique and fantastic family home. I love that there is a real life Hobbit house in the garden.”
Plans to demolish Premier Inn and replace it with 38-storey student skyscraper approved
Plans to build a huge skyscraper of student accommodation have been approved, with the existing Deansgate Locks Premier Inn on the site demolished.
The plans were first submitted in November 2022, replacing the hotel on Medlock Street with a 38-storey building that will provide rooms for 1014 students.
Also in the plans is a 13-storey office building, providing 36,000 sq m of Grade A office space.
The proposal includes a new piece of artwork which is nine storeys tall, the artist behind which will be chosen through a competition.
Whitbread, the company behind Premier Inn Hotels, is working with property developers Dominvs Group on the huge development.
They say they also plan to include three new public spaces – ‘The Wood’, which will resemble native UK woodland; ‘Rain Garden’, which will manage rain in a ‘playful and sustainable way’; and ‘Edge Street’, which will be a new green street with trees and ornamental plants.
They say: “Whitbread and Dominvs Group are bringing forward proposal at One Medlock Street that will contribute to the ongoing transformation at First Street, supporting a vibrant growing community, making an attractive and sustainable setting for work, living and study.
“At street level the scheme opens the site up, creating activity to enhance the pedestrian experience through a series of high-quality street and a new public realm.
“The proposed scheme is a mixed-use, office and purpose-build student accommodation scheme.
“As part of the current proposals, the Premier Inn building would be demolished and redeveloped.”