Plans for a £450m development of student accommodation, life science workspace and public realm off a major arterial route into Manchester have moved forward. The proposals have the capacity to support thousands of jobs.

Manchester City Council has granted a resolution to approve a full planning permission to McLaren Property, a residential and student accommodation developer, and Kadans Science Partner, specialist science and technology developer, for the Upper Brook Street development in Manchester.

The local authority also resolved to grant planning permission to Property Alliance Group and Moda Living for its portion of the wider masterplan, providing 550,000 sq ft of life science floorspace and 983 student beds, along with new community facilities.

McLaren Property, Kadans Science Partner, Property Alliance Group and Moda Living are working collaboratively to bring forward a wider masterplan vision for Upper Brook Street.

Together, the two schemes include 766,000 sq ft of life science accommodation, 1,720 student beds, community facilities and public uses, such as GP surgery, a new community centre, a local convenience store, retail and cafes.

The planning permission for McLaren Property and Kadans Science Partner's portion of the wider masterplan relates to about 490,000 sq ft across two purpose-built student accommodation buildings of nine-storey and 23-storeys, totalling 737 student bedspaces (288 studios and 449 cluster bedrooms).

A nine-storey building will deliver 216,000 sq ft of purpose built technical real estate space, developed by Kadans’ in-house team, whilst the student accommodation will be developed by McLaren Property.

The plans will also bring forward multi-use space for a community centre, commercial space for retail and a café, new accessible public realm, including play space, new trees and planting.

David Atherton, divisional managing director at McLaren Property, said:

"We are thrilled that the planning committee resolved to support our reimagined vision for the regeneration of Upper Brook Street. This is a milestone moment for a project that is a true example of collaboration between developers, the council and wider stakeholders to drive positive change.

"We are now focussed on delivering exemplary buildings and the raft of community benefits that this project will deliver. We look forward to the construction phase and bringing about the long term positive contribution these new buildings and neighbourhood will make to Manchester's economy."

Will Fogden, senior development manager at Kadans Science Partner, added:

"It's exciting to reach this important milestone in the development process. Adopting a philosophy of designing 'inside-out' the scheme combines strong architectural language with robust functionality to create an optimum framework for innovation and collaboration."

McLaren Property and Kadans expect to start construction works in Q2 2024.

Meanwhile, Alliance and Moda Living's planning application was submitted in June 2023, following three comprehensive public consultations. It demonstrated how key themes and principles of Manchester City Council's Oxford Road Corridor Strategic Regeneration Framework (ORSRF) had been addressed.

The pair will commence regeneration of the disused brownfield site to deliver a new, connected city district, incorporating 328,000 sq ft of grade A life science facilities, 983 PBSA units (220 as affordable) and three acres of new public realm. This includes retail and community-led amenities, with an upgraded park with informal play and exercise areas.

The project is expected to create 1,222 direct and indirect jobs within the life sciences and PBSA buildings, and 4,720 full time employment construction roles made over the scheme's 7.5-year build period, equating to a GVA of £45.7m per year of construction.

Alex Russell of Property Alliance Group presented at the planning committee, on behalf of the planning application development team.

He said:

"This is a hugely progressive and positive step forward for Manchester, and we are over the moon to play our part in bringing to fruition some of the city's most important and strategic ambitions.

"Since the inception of plans, to working alongside the incredible team and key stakeholders, to presenting the benefits of the new neighbourhood, the council's regeneration objectives for the area and the community, have been our central focus. We intend to continue to work closely with our stakeholders and residents, to create an outstanding, connected new area for residents, students and professionals."

James Blakey, planning and engagement director at Moda Group, added:

"This is a major step forward for Moda's growing PBSA pipeline, and the proposals for Upper Brook Street are crucial to support Manchester's Economic and Investment Growth Strategy as both a city and as a major player within the city region.

"Providing highly managed accommodation will help alleviate the ongoing issue of students living in houses which could be occupied by local residents and families. We have also made a commitment to providing subsidised affordable student accommodation whose occupants will have exactly the same access to on-site facilities and services as everyone else.

"We look forward to continuing our partnership with established local employment, training and skills agencies such as The Growth Company and Job Centre Plus to optimise the significant work and apprenticeship opportunities for local people and the wider community."

The consortium revealed its integrated masterplan vision last year, by architecture practices Hawkins Brown, Sheppard Robson and SimpsonHaugh. The wider masterplan proposals include (in total) 766,000 sq ft of life science accommodation, 1720 student beds, community facilities and public uses, such as a GP surgery, a new community centre, a local convenience store, retail and cafes.