Blink And You Missed It: How Deansgate Station Is Suddenly A Major Development Zone
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The planning process can be tortuous: That is the price you pay for democracy. But whether by luck or judgment, some big prospects glide through the early stages on greased rails. The transformation of Manchester's Deansgate station into a major development hub falls into this happy category, or will following a meeting of Manchester City Council's ruling executive on 17 October.
Proposals for a substantial development, including towers, on land at Deansgate station have been inserted at the last moment into the relatively low-key regeneration strategy for adjacent Knott Mill.
The Knott Mill Strategic Regeneration Framework, first published in June, promises up to 230K SF of new commercial floorspace aimed at tech and creative startups in the cluster of streets around Deansgate Station including Little Peter Street, Hewitt Street, Commercial Street, Constance Street and Jordan Street. Crucially the original plan ommitted the station site itself.
Now, after consultation and suggestions from landowners and developers, the station site is to be included in a redrafted framework document. The prospect of high-density development has been placed within the so-called "zone of influence."
Henry Boot was selected to lead the £100M Deansgate Station redevelopment in April 2019.
The document presented to councillors does not name names. “A developer requested that the Deansgate Station site is recognised in the revised masterplan as having the potential for future high density development, in the context of excellent accessibility by sustainable forms of transport," the report to councillors said.
"The masterplan recognises the importance of maximising sustainable travel and reducing reliance on car use," the report said. "The area is highly accessible, next to Deansgate Station, close to Deansgate-Castlefield Metrolink Station, within short walking distance to the rest of the city centre, and close to key cycle routes."
"The City Council fully agrees with the comments that Knott Mill’s highly accessible location and proximity to a range of sustainable modes of transport should be a central consideration in forming and justifying future car parking strategies.
"It is considered appropriate for an additional comment to be included in the Masterplan to reference that the Deansgate Station site, outside of the masterplan area, has the potential for future high density development."
Bisnow asked Henry Boot for an update on their plans for Deansgate Station, in the light of the revision to the Knott Mill plan, but had not received a response at time of writing.