Manchester news Thousands of co-living apartments set for Manchester despite resistance Manchester united news
MetiNews.Com - The developments had been labelled 'slums of the future' by worried councillors and campaigners
Breaking News ! Thousands of controversial co-living apartments - dubbed by critics as ‘slums of the future’ - have been 'reluctantly' signed off by Manchester’s planning committee. Plans to build towers at First Street and at the former Granada TV studios near Water Street, investments worth £450m, had been resisted by councillors for months. Concerns were raised around the ‘untested’ concept of co-living, where residents have their own living space and bathroom but share communal areas like kitchens and dining space. The planning committee had also objected to the size of the studio flats offered at both schemes which fall short of Manchester council’s space standards policy. A housing group has said the prospect of co-living spaces is still 'untried and untested' (Image: Downing Living) Over several meetings planning officers stressed that the smaller flats were only available for six-month tenancies aimed at young graduates and city workers needing a temporary base. Read More Related Articles Big plans for villages approved despite legal action threat...critics called the decision 'deeply disturbing' Read More Related Articles Woman found with neck injuries in Northern Quarter alleyway after 'running from vehicle' Despite their reservations, the majority of the committee voted to approve both applications on September 24 after officers said their reasons for refusal would not stand up to an appeal. Downing’s £260m vision for 2,224 ‘high quality’ bed spaces at First Street had been lauded by planning officer Dave Roscoe as having the potential to ‘radically transform’ a vacant site near the Mancunian Way. The towers, ranging from 10 to 45 storeys in height, will be complimented by a new public park and square along with a cinema, gym and co-working spaces for residents. If approved, the towers would include an outdoor area (Image: Downing Living) But councillors still expressed doubts about the size of the development and felt it went against the council executive’s plan to take a cautious approach to co-living in Manchester. Councillor Jill Lovecy said: “My concern is not these are the slums of the future but we will get more [co-living schemes] and it will be difficult to refuse them.
.” Mr Roscoe said there was no incentive for people to stay in the smaller accommodation for longer than they needed, and stressed that they would not be affordable flats. He added: “People live far differently than when we were younger, they want to live in different ways.
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“It is similar to accommodation people stay in at apart-hotels and serviced apartments. “If they were called aparthotels or serviced apartments then we wouldn't be having the level of debates that we’ve been having.” The meeting also heard that the council had been resisting further co-living schemes from interested developers in favour or limiting the number of apartments to 5,000 in the city. Meanwhile Vita’s proposals to build a 32-storey tower in Water Street, next to the larger tower that was approved by the committee in August, were also approved.
An artist's impression of the two Union Living co-living tower blocks.
(Image: Vita/Denton Corker Marshall)
More than 1,600 bed spaces in shared accommodation, along with the non-compliant studio flats, will now be built in the ‘T1’ and ‘T2’ buildings. Councillor Shaukat Ali voted in favour of the £190m scheme after officers had told a previous committee meeting that the buildings could be converted into normal apartment blocks if co-living were to fail in Manchester. Councillor Joan Davies, who also admitted their mind had been changed, added: "With some reluctance, I'm voting to approve this.
“I don’t think these are the slums of the future, though I think it’s too large for the area. “If people are wanting to develop something in Manchester, providing jobs and spaces to live, then I need a very strong reason to go against it.”
Source = MetiNews.Com