Revised plans have been submitted for the controversial St Michael’s tower in Manchester – the scheme backed by ex-Manchester United footballers Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs
Last April, SOM was brought in by contractor Laing O’Rourke to deliver the Hodder + Partners-designed 40-storey skyscraper.
Now the Laing O’Rourke team has lodged a revised planning application with Manchester City Council which would increase the development’s office floor area by 2,350m² to 18,660m² and boost its residential space by 1,820m² to 20,529m².
The mix of housing has also altered with the number of two-bedroom flats dropping from 132 to 116 – although the floorspace has grown (the minimum size will now be 80m²). The proposals also include eight, new three-bedroom apartments.
Car parking spaces have also been cut, from 136 to 103, and the number of rooms in the proposed five-star hotel reduced by 25 to 191. Meanwhile, the floor area of the 898m² penthouse has been trimmed by 85m².
The plans, backed by Neville’s development company the St Michael’s Partnership, credit both SOM and Hodder + Partners, which has been retained as design guardian.
Speaking about the proposed alteration, Stephen Hodder, chairman of Manchester-based Hodder + Partners, said: ‘I’m pleased that the design development supports the original consented scheme. It was so important to us that, during this stage, the team maintained the quality, scale and volume of the consented plans, which we have successfully achieved.’
The proposed ‘design refinements’ are the latest in a series of reshuffles on the high-profile £200 million project close to Manchester Town Hall which is finally due to start on site this summer.
Hodder + Partners’ tower, approved in March 2018, replaced a previous proposal by Make, which resigned from the city-centre development after almost a decade working on it.
Hodder’s reworked design changed the configuration of the single 134.5m-tall centrepiece skyscraper into a ‘unique lozenge shape’, with a floating canopy supported by a three-storey colonnade at the crown of the building.
Among the changes to the reworked scheme were the retention of the historic Sir Ralph Abercromby pub and the Neoclassical Bootle Street Police Station (1937) which will be converted into a boutique hotel.
Both had been scheduled to be demolished to make way for the Make-designed development, and in January 2017 the police station was included in the Twentieth Century Society’s top 10 list of buildings most at risk.
Despite the design changes, Hodder’s scheme also proved controversial. SAVE Britain’s Heritage attempted to challenge Manchester Council’s approval of the scheme, but the government turned down the request.
Evolution of the St Michael’s tower scheme since Hodder + Partners took over the scheme from Make.