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