Plans for an extensive development of new skyscrapers in Manchester, connecting the inner city area of Hulme to the city centre, have been given the go-ahead by council chiefs.
The dramatic plans would create a new district – Great Jackson Street district – made up of a neighbourhood of skyscrapers joining the Mancunian Way to Knott Mill, close to Deansgate station. The development is expected see the creation of around 6,000 build-to-rent homes, as well as public and green spaces and pedestrian routes, with some of the tallest buildings going up to 50 storeys.
According to the report put forward to the council, the plan is to create “a high quality residential neighbourhood with high value homes that would support the growth of the economy. It would be possible to create a vibrant, safe, secure and sustainable community incorporating a range of dwelling types, providing an attractive place to live with a range of apartments and two and three storey houses.”
The area being built on is currently largely empty, so it would provide a huge facelift to the area. Building work has already begun around Owen Street by developer Renaker, which owns most of the land.
Now that the plans have been approved by the council, work can go ahead on the development despite objections from some locals that the build-to-rent nature of the building will not benefit locals or first-time buyers, and could lead to a “transient” population of renters.
Build-to-rent is more popular than ever
However, others argue that the blocks will be sold mainly to institutional investors who will keep quality high through professional, long-term management.
The report which was put forward to the council said: “Demand for rented accommodation has soared in recent years and ‘build to rent’ will continue to be important, reflecting the trend towards this type of tenure both in Manchester and nationally.”
The Autumn Budget last year announced “£8bn of new financial guarantees to support private housebuilding and the purpose-built private rented sector”, as Phillip Hammond pledged to support the build-to-rent sector as more and more people joined ‘Generation Rent’.
Build-to-rent is especially popular for young professionals who are looking for high-quality accommodation with excellent amenities and facilities, and with news that rising numbers of this demographic are quitting the capital and heading to places like Manchester, the new development could materialise at just the right time to meet the increasing demand.