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Glenn Howells’ Manchester regeneration scheme receives planning boost

Glenn Howells Architects' masterplan for the Manchester  Ramada Complex
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Glenn Howells Architects has cleared a major planning hurdle in its bid to replace a 1970s Cruickshank and Seward-designed hotel in Manchester with a residential-led scheme 

A strategic regeneration framework for the Ramada Complex on Deansgate was approved in principle by the executive committee of the city council.

Birmingham-based practice Glenn Howells was appointed by developer Urban & Civic last year for the high-profile job, which the council’s leader has described as the final piece of a renewal programme launched after damage wrecked by the 1996 IRA bomb.

The 15-storey 1972 Marriot Renaissance Manchester and its car park will be demolished under the Glenn Howells scheme.

They will be replaced by three buildings hosting up to 600 apartments, a 250-room five-star hotel, restaurants and shops, and public space.

A report by the council’s strategic development director to councillors said the existing Renaissance hotel ‘makes no positive visual contribution to the surrounding environment’.

It added: ‘The scale of the [proposed] buildings has been carefully considered to respect local heritage assets while providing a landmark scheme on this prominent site within the city.’

The plans will now become subject to a public consultation.

Urban & Civic property director Philip Leech said: ‘This is a prominent landmark site and we have been working with Glenn Howells and the city council to create a mixed-use scheme, which takes reference from the surrounding heritage and will bring new life to this part of the river.

‘We are excited to move the designs forward and head towards the consultation phase.’

Manchester City Council leader Richard Leese added: ‘The Ramada Complex is one of the most exciting and challenging redevelopment opportunities in the city centre. It is virtually the final piece of the jigsaw of the ambitious 1999 city centre renewal plan, drawn up in the aftermath of the IRA bomb.

‘It has the potential to make a significant contribution to the area and act as a catalyst to further improvements, a real gateway destination creating jobs and opportunities and complementing its surroundings, rather than detracting from them as it currently does.’

Manchester City Council this month approved SimpsonHaugh’s transformation of the Great Northern Warehouse area at the other end of Deansgate.

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