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UPDATED Never Ending Agony: Is The Pain Over For Gary Neville's £200M St Michaels?

Gary Neville, left, backing the £200M St Michaels plan

Some sagas never end. Having overcome conservation lobbying, redesigns, a tense planning process and the threat of an eleventh hour legal appeal, the Gary Neville-fronted consortium behind Manchester's £200M St Michael's mixed development now faces another challenge.

An architecture firm has produced a rival plan for the site at the behest of a heritage campaign group. The plan involves retaining the 1930s Bootle Street police station as a covered retail area.

Ian Chalk Architects, backed by SAVE Britain's Heritage, has drawn up alternative designs which challenge the Hodder+Partners plans approved by the city council in March, Architects Journal reports.

Jackson’s Row would be pedestrianised and there would be a new public square fronting the synagogue and the Sir Ralph Abercromby public house.

The Manchester Civic Society, who were backing a judicial review of the St Michael's planning permission, are supporting the revised Ian Chalk plans.

The 39-storey development which includes 150K SF of offices, a hotel and 190 apartments, is in a conservation area, one of nine interlocking areas in the heart of Manchester. It is within 250 metres of 72 Listed Buildings.

The Ralph Abercromby, left, in the new St Michael's setting

Reports of a legal dispute between the original members of the Jackson's Row Development Partnership — which is at the core of the project — surfaced earlier this summer,  the Sunday Times reports. They provide a backdrop to the potential heritage challenge.

The St Michael's Partnership is formed by Beijing Construction Engineering Group working in close partnership with Singapore-based Rowsley — who have worked with Giggs and Neville on two other Manchester hotels — and The Jackson’s Row Development Partnership (owned by Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Brendan Flood). BCEG owns a 21% stake in the £200M regeneration scheme, according to its website.

UPDATE 24.9.18: The Manchester Civic Society's attempt to launch a judicial review of the planning decision has been rejected by the High Court, Property Week reports. This now clears the way to development.