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New skyscraper planned for Manchester

33-storey student tower gets green light from council planners

Published on August 9th 2010.

New skyscraper planned for Manchester

Manchester City Council has granted planning permission for a 33-storey residential tower in the city centre.

From the CGIs it has that built in slices Rockefeller Centre appearance that creates variety in what could otherwise be an inverted shoe-box design.

Developer Student Castle and its contractor partner Shepherd Construction will build the 520-bed high rise on Great Marlborough Street, which will be used for student accommodation.

The 33-storey tower, measuring 109 metres, is expected to cost around £45m and will be among the city’s tallest buildings. It has been designed by Manchester-based Hodder and Partners.

The rooms will be a mix of self-contained studio apartments and cluster-style communal accommodation.

Edward Cade, chief executive of Student Castle, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded planning permission for this landmark scheme in Manchester.

“As a new, expert developer within the sector we are pleased to have this opportunity to make a positive contribution to the regional economy and higher education sector in one of the UK’s most vibrant cities.”

The development is due for completion in 2012.

Student Castle will become the third or fourth tallest tower in Manchester depending whether you count radio antennae.

The order will be:

168.87m (554ft) Beetham Tower

118m (387ft) CIS Tower

109m (357ft) Student Castle

107m (351ft) City Tower, Piccadilly - although to the top of the radio antenna mast City Tower is 123m (404ft).

So does Student Castle look any good?

The answer is a qualified yes. Qualified, because you never really know until the thing is up creating wind tunnels of the streets all around.

From the CGIs it has that built in slices Rockefeller Centre appearance that creates variety in what could otherwise be an inverted shoe-box design.

Hodder and Partners after all are careful designers and it seems they wanted to produce something distinctive for the Manchester skyline. This could be a very good building and points to a potential construction frenzy in the area, what with the new Holiday Inn coming to completion, more projects planned for First Street and the vast site of New Broadcasting House about to be vacated by the BBC.

The only pause for thought over the design is the way it will be jammed into a very small site at the junction of New Wakefield Street and Great Marlborough Street. That might look awkward when studying it close by. Then again given the arbitrary nature of British cityscapes - their triumphant and messy variety of styles - it may fit well.

It's very welcome to see towers rising once more. Every city needs a phallic symbol or two climbing into the air to make it feel good about itself. Makes us all feel more potent.

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22 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Towering InfernetteAugust 9th 2010.

Towers make us more potent? That's a very male view. So you're saying more cocks for Manchester?

John ThomasAugust 9th 2010.

Surely a city can't have enough cocks?

Daniel WildAugust 9th 2010.

We could do with a few less cocks if you ask me...

Leigh ScottAugust 9th 2010.

jeezuz that'll be a good nights kip in one o' them!

HurrahAugust 10th 2010.

I agree I love to see towers growing into the sky. The more the merrier as far as I'm concerned.

Temporary HeroAugust 10th 2010.

What ever happened to the slums most students had to deal with in order to pass their courses and become useful members of society?

Should we give them a bar of gold to wipe their arses with too?

No parking no sleepAugust 10th 2010.

I'm really gutted this has got the green light. There's no parking for this building and the area is already saturated with 1st & seconf year students.

Student village, Ian Simpson's Parkway Gate (not even full), the big unite one on the roundabout and the massive tower being built on the old loxford halls site.

Less mixed residence creates even more all hours pissed up singing and shouting. I need my sleep!! Time to move out to the burbs maybe?

Although, maybe even the piss/smack heads from the salvo army hostel up the road will be forcred out too?!

MadelaineAugust 10th 2010.

I read your name as No Parking, No Sheep. That amused me.

Leigh ScottAugust 10th 2010.

Other European cities have students that live in their centres who don't behave like reprobates. I moved to the Sale area for a bit more peace and quiet.unfortunately it is assumed that one should expect rowdy, noisy and loutish behaviour at all hours mid week if i wanted to live in the city.

constant peace and quiet i didn't expect but the opposite end of the scale made it a real shame as I struggled to enjoy living central for nearly 2 years.

ianianAugust 10th 2010.

Rockefeller? That? Really?

Justin JAugust 10th 2010.

'Rockefeller Centre appearance' I think the writer says. I know what he means too, slices of building rather than a smooth whole.

Peter RivendellAugust 10th 2010.

Wow, that's a prominent site from the Cornerhouse view.

I'm all in favour of more height for Manchester though.

JayAugust 10th 2010.

They'll have to offer a reduced rent in comparison to the other modern halls if they want to fill it. As someone else has said in the area we have Student Village, New Medlock, Park Way Gate, Cambridge Halls, Victoria Halls, Cavendish Halls, Charles Groves in about a quarter square mile. Then there's Mill Point and Piccadilly Point just up the road. Please no more; i'm fed up of being constantly woken up at stupid 'o clock by students, and they keep kicking the wing mirror off my car

LisaAugust 11th 2010.

I'm all in favour of high rises in the city but I agree does it have to be students, more students getting to live in the city centre round the corner from where I live! Will I ever be able to sell my flat when people realise it's now just an area full of adolescents that have no idea how to behave after a few drinks, constantly leaving chicken wings, smashed glass bottles and vomit on my door steps at the weekend. Nice one Council for giving this the thumbs up. The only good I feel about this is that I didn't go from my current flat to the flat on Hulme St I so very nearly moved to 3 years ago. PHEW!

rovermanAugust 11th 2010.

Tends to confirm what was becoming obvious during the boom years - the city centre is best suited, sadly, to young and transient people, it has little appeal to more mature and settled residents like in Europe. The positive effect of this is that it will take the pressure off the suburban districts like Withington, which have suffered huge decline and decay from the over-presence of student households.

JohnAugust 12th 2010.

I'm all for tall towers but am against the location of this one and the negative impact this scale of building will have on people already living here. It is simply too big and will overwhelm this area.

AnonymousSeptember 10th 2010.

Manchester has refused to to have a tall buildings policy so towers will get in everywhere so long as there are no objections based on law and sound principles. If you want a towers policy then tell the Exec Member Environment.

I wonder how long it will survive as a student residence.

James11364September 10th 2010.

Did any of the residents affected by this development and its usage make representations to MCC planning. In general developments go ahead unless you object. Since the residential development was begun in the area, there have always been problems.

James11364September 10th 2010.

Did any of the residents affected by this development and its usage make representations to MCC planning. In general developments go ahead unless you object. Since the residential development was begun in the area, there have always been problems.

AnonymousSeptember 10th 2010.

I ma sorry Scottie you had such a poor experience of city centre living. But I do think you exaggerate unless you lived on Hulme Street/Oxford ROAD westward. I have lived on the edge of one of a major entertainment areas for 10 years. After a period at the start of quieting it down, it is reasonably peaceful. Traffic noise can be an issue but some triple glazing has helped. that. However peace is achieved by eternal vigilance with nudges, encouraging compliance, an some enforcement.

ScoteeeSeptember 10th 2010.

Well I don't normally move home through melodrama. All things being equal I can assure you there were some awful characters living in the same vicinity as me they weren't all students granted, but I knew that most were. The MEN did an article on the 15 burglaries in the two weeks leading up to Xmas too.people have a forum for residents there and still e same lack of consideration for others reigns on.

Daniel GriffinFebruary 10th 2011.

Architecture at it's worst. It's squeezing as many flats into one space as possible, as cheaply as possible, with minimal regard for aesthetics. Even the architects know this is cheap throwaway trash.

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