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Approval Awarded for Upper Brook Street masterplan

Manchester City Council has approved a £450m development at Upper Brook Street in Ardwick, which will see Property Alliance Group, Moda Living and Williams Motor Holdings Co. bring forward hugely anticipated regeneration of the city district with purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA), life science workspace and public realm and amenities.  

The development forms part of a wider five-acre masterplan presented to Manchester City Council by a property consortium led by Alliance, Moda Living, McLaren Property and Kadans Science Partner. Their Upper Brook Street neighbourhood vision has been developed collaboratively since the beginning of 2023, and includes two adjacent sites focused around life science provision, PBSA and three acres of connected public realm.  

Alliance and Moda Living’s planning application was submitted in June 2023, following three comprehensive public consultations. It demonstrated how key themes and principles of Manchester City Council’s Oxford Road Corridor Strategic Regeneration Framework (ORSRF) had been addressed.  

Alliance and Moda Living will commence regeneration of the disused brownfield site to deliver a new, connected city district, incorporating 328,000 sq ft of Grade A life science facilities, 983 PBSA units (220 as affordable) and three acres of new public realm. This includes retail and community-led amenities, with an upgraded park with informal play and exercise areas. The project is expected to create 1,222 direct and indirect jobs within the life sciences and PBSA buildings, and 4,720 Full Time Employment construction roles made over the scheme’s 7.5-year build period, equating to a GVA of £45.7m per year of construction.  

Alex Russell, CEO of Property Alliance Group presented at the planning committee, on behalf of the planning application development team. He said:   

“This is a hugely progressive and positive step forward for Manchester, and we are over the moon to play our part in bringing to fruition some of the city’s most important and strategic ambitions. 

“Since the inception of plans, to working alongside the incredible team and key stakeholders, to presenting the benefits of the new neighbourhood, the council’s regeneration objectives for the area and the community, have been our central focus. We intend to continue to work closely with our stakeholders and residents, to create an outstanding, connected new area for residents, students and professionals.” 

James Blakey, Planning and Engagement Director, Moda Group, continued: 

“We are delighted the planning committee endorsed the officer recommendation to approve our application so we can deliver our plans to regenerate this part of the city. This is a major step forward for Moda’s growing PBSA pipeline, and the proposals for Upper Brook Street are crucial to support Manchester’s Economic and Investment Growth Strategy as both a city and as a major player within the city region. 

“Providing highly managed accommodation will help alleviate the ongoing issue of students living in houses which could be occupied by local residents and families. We have also made a commitment to providing subsidised affordable student accommodation whose occupants will have exactly the same access to on-site facilities and services as everyone else.

“We look forward to continuing our partnership with established local employment, training and skills agencies such as The Growth Company and Job Centre Plus to optimise the significant work and apprenticeship opportunities for local people and the wider community.” 

At the same time, McLaren Property and Kadans Science Partner were awarded planning consent for their development within the masterplan, to deliver c.490,000 sq ft of PBSA, totalling 737 student bedspaces and 216,000 sq ft of purpose built technical real estate space. 

Together, the two schemes include 766,000 sq ft of life science accommodation, 1720 student beds, community facilities and public uses, such as GP surgery, a new community centre, a local convenience store, retail and cafes.   

Independent planning consultancy, Ashton Hale, is working alongside the parties for both schemes on the Upper Brook Street masterplan, with Re-form Landscape Architecture leading design for the public realm.   

Hawkins Brown is the architect for Alliance’s and Moda Living’s life science facility, with Simpson Haugh the architect for the PBSA. 

Sheppard Robson has designed McLaren Property’s and Kadans Science partner’s PBSA and life science space.