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£1 billion masterplan aims to bring the continental touch to east Manchester - images

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An ambitious £1 billion proposal to transform the east end of Manchester from 'Coronation Street to Copenhagen' has been given the green light by the city council.

The Holt Town Waterfront development, which has been drawn up in chief by masterplanner Edaw and engineer Arup, is set to become the largest residential-led development in the North of England and will create almost 4,500 new homes.

Billed as 'high-density family living', the project will see the regeneration of a run-down 38ha plot next to the 2002 Commonwealth Games-driven Sportcity development less than 1km from Manchester city centre.

The scheme is being delivered by regeneration specialist Cibitas, in partnership with urban regeneration company New East Manchester and the city council, and is expected to be divided into a number of separate parcels, meaning a potential windfall of work for architects over the next 15 years.

Among the other collaborators on the project, which is due to go in for outline planning later this year, is Studio Egret West.

Describing the approach to the outline design, Edaw's Andy Spracklen said: 'The main cue for the scheme came from places like Copenhagen and Amsterdam and is based on a perimeter-block housing approach.'

He added: 'The key element is an inside-out approach: with the perimeter block appearing fairly dense on the outside, mirroring the bulk of the historic mills nearby, with internal courtyards on a domestic scale.'

by Richard Waite

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