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Unite's 30-storey Manchester tower set for approval

Manchester City Council is expected to give the green light to Unite’s proposals for a 30-storey tower in the city centre after the scheme was recommended by planners.

The scheme on New Wakefield Street, just off Oxford Road and opposite Bruntwood’s £750m Circle Square regeneration project (pictured), will consist of 573 student apartments, with a ground-floor and first-floor commercial unit.

A report due to be considered by the council’s planning and highways committee has concluded that the scheme would have “a positive impact on the regeneration of this part of the city centre including contributing to the supply of high-quality student accommodation”.

The report noted: “The buildings would be of a high level of sustainability and the high-quality materials on the exterior of the building are worthy of a building of landmark status.

“The report has outlined that the proposal would not have any unduly harmful impacts on the setting of any heritage assets and in most instances would have a positive impact on the Manchester skyline.

“The level of harm is considered to be less than substantial and is outweighed by the public benefits that would be delivered.”

Designed by architects SimpsonHaugh, the tower will comprise four distinct stacked segments that reduce as the building gains in height.

The tower element would be set back, which would reduce the impact on New Wakefield Street, with the podium relating to the scale of the adjoining building.

If given approval, the new scheme will be the sixth by Unite in Manchester and will stand adjacent to another high-rise student accommodation project: the 33-storey Liberty Living building, formerly known as Student Castle.

Sound Control, the existing nightclub on the site, would be demolished to make way for the Unite scheme, along with another vacant building that occupies the site.

Other Unite projects currently under way in the UK include a £40m scheme in central Birmingham. 

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