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Controversial Renaker PRS towers approved by Manchester councillors

A two-tower private rented scheme in Manchester has been given the go-ahead despite opposition from local groups.

Developer Renaker’s 188-apartment scheme was given the green light by councillors after a protracted process – finally paving the way for work to begin on the project at 2-4 Chester Road, close to Deansgate station.

Planning officers recommended the scheme for planning approval in early January, but a decision was subsequently deferred pending a site visit in light of local opposition.

Following this visit, councillors have granted consent to the scheme – which was designed by architects OMI and will include one tower of 21 storeys and another of 12 storeys.

Developer Castlefield Estates, which owns a number of neighbouring commercial properties, had argued the project was “nothing short of cultural vandalism” and slammed the design for being “out of keeping with the Castlefield conservation area”.

Objections were raised that the buildings’ height would block views of the Castlefield basin and the surrounding conservation area, while residents also highlighted concerns about the project’s potential impact on the nearby Grade-II listed Congregational Chapel.

However, planning officers had argued the scheme would bring “significant enhancement” to public realm and “positively contribute to the group of tall buildings that is emerging on this side of the city centre”.

Renaker is currently on site at a major PRS development at nearby Owen Street, which includes the construction of more than 1,500 homes across three towers, one of which will be Manchester’s tallest building when complete.

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