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The Agony Goes On For Gary Neville's £200M St Michael's Scheme

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

Historic England said it is still not satisfied with revised plans for the £200M St Michael's development fronted by Class of '92 Manchester United star Gary Neville.

The conservation agency has objected on two previous occasions to the mixed office, leisure and residential development at Jacksons Row, Manchester. They criticised plans in February 2017 and July 2017, prompting a rethink which included the reduction of skyscrapers to a single 39-storey tower, and the decision to retain a historic pub.

“We welcome that the new proposals keep the Sir Ralph Abercromby pub and part of the former police headquarters," Historic England North West Planning Director Catherine Dewar said. "The scheme has also been improved with a new public square next to the pub and creating a more attractive route around and through the site.

“However we feel that it will still do some harm to the setting of the Town Hall, Albert Memorial and St Ann’s Church due to its height.

“Introducing such a tall building in this important and sensitive location will have an unavoidable impact on the setting of three of Manchester’s finest Grade I-listed buildings," Dewar said.

"We have advised Manchester City Council that, as per planning policy, the harm would need clear justification.”

The St Michael's project, which includes 150K SF of offices, a hotel and 190 apartments, is promoted by Rowsley, the Singapore-based investor, along with Beijing Construction Engineering, Manchester City Council and footballers Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs.

Architects are Hodder+Partners. Chairman Stephen Hodder told Place North West that Historic England was returning the decision to Manchester City Council and saying "it's up to you."

The decision will return to Manchester planners amidst growing anxiety that development is putting at risk the character of some city centre neighbourhoods including the Northern Quarter and the gay village.