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Plans for Northern Gateway neighbourhood submitted

Words: Huw Morris

Plans for a major urban neighbourhood have been submitted to set a benchmark for efficient living in Manchester’s Northern Gateway regeneration area.

Southvalley Estates, part of MCR Property Group, is proposing to build 1,202 highly energy-efficient homes, two commercial units and a pocket park as well as pedestrian and cycling routes through the site.

The Gasworks scheme will be the first residential development to form part of New Town, one of seven neighbourhoods outlined by Manchester City Council’s £1 billion Northern Gateway masterplan. The majority of the 2.7-hectare brownfield site, once home to the former Gould Street gasworks, is currently surface car parking.

The Gasworks – New Town will comprise a mix of townhouses and apartments in eight mid-rise blocks, staggered between eight and 17 storeys, built in three phases with the first homes expected to be completed in 2023.

Phase four of the development will culminate towards the end of the decade in the construction of a 33-storey residential tower overlooking the new open public realm.

The developers state that the scheme will provide an area of green space larger than the football pitch at Old Trafford or the City of Manchester Stadium, with 100 trees to be planted throughout the site.

The scheme aims to save more than 300 tonnes annually. To further reduce emissions, the plans also aim to maximise cycle parking with more than 1,200 spaces for residents and pedestrian routes to encourage more environmentally friendly travel, with only a small amount of car parking in the basements.

“Our plans for this former gasworks site go above and beyond the minimum requirements for sustainable development to set the benchmark for other schemes in New Town,” said Eliot Baker, MCR Property Group planning manager. “We feel our bold proposals make the most of this core city centre location in a way that will significantly transform the New Town area and realise the ambitions of the Northern Gateway vision.”

The application follows a public consultation in August held with planning consultant WSP.

A total of 15,000 homes are due to be delivered over the next 15 to 20 years across the seven neighbourhoods in the 155ha Northern Gateway project, a joint venture between the Far East Consortium and Manchester City Council.

Image credit | MCR Property Group