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Manchester approves another high-rise resi-tower

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Manchester City Council has approved plans for another city centre residential tower - a 28-storey, 174 home block in Deansgate Locks by 5plus Architects

In recent weeks Hodder + Partners has won planning permission for two skyscraper schemes in the city - a 307-home development in Water Street and a 282-home tower scheme close to Manchester’s Oxford Road station.

Earlier this month nearby Salford also rubberstamped a number of major housing developments, namely the 380-flat, £42million Trinity project also by 5plus at the junction of Trinity Way and Blackfriars Road and OMI’s high-rise 491-home Wilburn Basin scheme.

The latest Manchester tower scheme by 5plus replaced a previous, ten storeys shorter office-led proposal for the site.

At 93m tall it will become the fifth tallest in the city behind Ian Simpson’s Beetham Tower at 169m, Gordon Tait and GS Hay’s 118m-tall CIS Tower, Hodder + Partners’ 109m-tall Student Castle and Covell, Matthews & Partners’ 107m-tall City Tower overlooking Piccadilly.

The original £17million scheme by HKR for the Property Alliance Group was unveiled in 2007, but the project languished during the recession.

Dubbed the ‘Axis’, the development will house 172 apartments and two of the city’s ‘most sophisticated and desirable penthouses’ on the top floor.

The building will be clad in reflective metallic bronze and glass and, on the city facing façade, features an LED ‘that will disappear when not in use’.

Jon Matthews, director at 5plus and formerly of HKR who has been working on the site for ‘nearly 10 years’ said: ‘From doom to boom in six months. The clamour to speculate in residential [property] in Manchester has a prospect town feel about it. The shiny-suits optioning-up every car park are back in the game. It feels like the wild North-West. Did we learn nothing?

‘Hopefully, yes. Axis aims high. It is a place you would want to live in. It is confident. Large individual apartments. Flooded in daylight. Stunning views. Shiny suits nowhere to be seen.’

Construction is scheduled to start before the end of the year and complete in late 2016.

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