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Planning decision on major Manchester coliving scheme deferred

George Sell Uploaded 05 August 2020 UK: A planning decision on a four-tower coliving development in Manchester city centre has been deferred for a site visit.

The council’s planning committee wants to get a better idea of how the four towers proposed at First Street, ranging from 10 to 45 storeys high, will impact surrounding areas.

Downing, the developer behind the plans, is seeking permission to provide 2,224 coliving bedspaces aimed at graduates and city workers who want to live close to their workplaces.

The 609 apartments would have one to five bedrooms, while 875 studios will range from standard and compact flats to super and deluxe units.

A new public park and square is also planned, along with a cinema, gym, a cafe, a resident’s lounge and co-working spaces.

A recent planning meeting heard that the derelict site would be redeveloped into a "purpose-built, high quality, professionally managed scheme".

John Cooper, an agent speaking on behalf of Downing, added: “The scheme will support the vibrancy and attractiveness of First Street, one of the areas identified for co-living schemes. It’s an area that has been a Manchester council regeneration priority for more than 20 years, and is an area the council has invested in significantly.”

The developer says it expects 60 per cent of tenants to become long-term residents of the city centre once they leave coliving, which is intended to meet demand for short-term tenancies.

The size of the development has prompted fears amongst councillors, and campaign group Greater Manchester Housing Action said: “The application ignores the problems that coliving may cause for the city and leaves it with a potentially problematic building development that may turn into a slum of the future."

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