Another quiet month for property indicates that a slow-down is in full swing.
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March 2019 has seen the least activity of any month since August 2016, which suggests that a slow-down is now well underway across Manchester's property sectors. Just five new planning applications were submitted in March compared to nine in March 2018 and 13 in March 2017, while just one scheme started construction. However, the slow-down may not be as bad as initially predicted. Q1 2019 has finished with a total of 20 new planning application submissions, only slightly below the 3-year quarterly average of 22. The number of construction starts in Q1 finished on a total of 17, well above the 3-year quarterly average of 12.
Despite a slow-down generally in the residential sector, four new planning applications were submitted in March alone for residential developments. This takes the number of new residential applications made in 2019 so far to 13, totalling 741 apartments. This averages at 57 units per scheme, which is well below the Manchester average of 215 residential units per scheme. This perhaps indicates that developers are now targeting smaller building conversions or new developments on trickier bits of land. Looking at the developments submitted for planning in March, there appears to be evidence for this claim. Three schemes are for office-to-resi upper floor residential conversions within 100 yards of each other in the city centre, with two of these schemes being brought forward by DTZi on King Street featuring just 15 apartments in total. Round the corner on John Dalton Street, Leeds-based YPP have submitted a separate planning application to convert the empty space on the upper floors of 11 St James's Square on John Dalton Street (above My Thai) to 60 studio apartments.
Meanwhile, Howard & Seddon architects submitted a planning application in March for a small ground plus 3 storey apartment block in the Gay Village, containing 6 apartments. Located on Richmond Street, the scheme includes a 2,110 sqft office unit on the ground floor and is due for completion in Q3 2020, subject to planning.
In fact, the biggest scheme to be submitted for planning in March 2019 wasn't even in the city centre. Leach Rhodes Walker teamed up with developers CS Derby to submit a planning application for a 7-storey scheme on Stockport Road in Longsight. The 96 homes proposed at the development, which includes 7 three-bedroom townhouses, will be offered to rent, with the development set to complete in 2022.
Planning permission has been granted to developers Northern Group for a new apartment block in Ancoats. M4nchester Two, which will be built on Bengal Street, has been designed by Mecanoo architects and will contain 75 apartments above 33,626 sqft of ground floor office space.
Groundworks commenced at two residential developments in March, both in Salford. Forshaw have been clearing a site on the River Irwell (off Ordsall Lane) to prepare for construction of The Dye Works. Three new blocks, designed by DLA Design, will contain 252 apartments in total on the waterfront. Meanwhile, in Langworthy, Knight Knox have also started on site at a development on the corner of Langworthy Road and Eccles New Road. Designed by Sheffield-based Coda Studios and pictured below, the scheme will contain 44 apartments spread over 4 floors. Both schemes are due for completion in 2021.
Outline planning permission has been rejected by Trafford Council for a development of 433 apartments on the old B&Q site on Great Stone Road, by the Old Trafford cricket ground. The planning officer cited height of the proposed building as one of the key issues with the submission, with the highest point of the development reaching 13 storeys. It's unclear as to what developer Accrue's next steps will be.
Logik Developments, headed by Andrew Flintoff, have revealed their latest proposals for a scheme on Arundel Street in Britannia Basin. The previous scheme was rejected at a meeting of Manchester's planning committee in September 2018 on the grounds of being too tall. Now, Simpson-Haugh have revealed the latest iteration of the proposals, which sees a small reduction in number of apartments (to 355) but a large reduction in floorcount, from 35 storeys to 23.
Manchester's commercial sector continues to see signs of growth, with NOMA revealing proposals for another office block in the emerging Angel Square area. 4 Angel Square, designed by Simpson-Haugh, will contain 200,000 sqft of office space over an 11 storey building featuring a quintessential cantilever. A planning application is expected to be submitted later this year. Meanwhile, BT are said to be searching for up to 200,000 sqft in the city for a new headquarters, with some citing 4 Angel Square as a potential candidate.