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Planners urge approval for Argent Greater Manchester plan

Planning officers have recommended that Greater Manchester councillors approve Argent’s plan for a £50 million redevelopment of Elisabeth House in St Peter’s Square.

The 14-storey, 270,000 sq ft building has been designed by Glenn Howells Architects and will be more than double the size of Elisabeth House, which is approximately 110,000 sq ft.

The former home of the Dutch Pancake Company will be rebuilt in a joint venture between Argent and the Greater Manchester Property Venture Fund, which is the investment section of the local authority’s pension fund.

Cultural space for public exhibitions will be included on the ground floor, along with a double-height reception with views across St Peter’s Square.

The report by planning officers said: “The proposal is interesting and modern, and would be acceptable and appropriate in the city context, and with the surrounding heritage assets.

“This approach of introducing a modern building into a historic environment has worked successfully elsewhere in Manchester and the scheme respects the setting of the St Peter’s Sq conservation area and the listed buildings associated with it.”