BBC site Oxford Road

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Sunday, April 24, 2016 - 15:37

How the former BBC site on Oxford Road will look
Dramatic plans for a completely new neighbourhood on Oxford Road’s former BBC site have been submitted to the council - including a concert hall, 36-storey tower block and nearly 700 flats.

Four separate applications have been put in to planners for seven blocks of offices, upmarket apartments and leisure facilities, as well as for a ten-storey multi-storey car park to create a new district called Circle Square in Manchester city centre .

They form part of a long-term masterplan to revitalise the land, ultimately including high-tech health and scientific research firms.

But residents living nearby have declared themselves horrified by the proposals - which follow the granting of permission for phase one of the development being granted earlier this year - dubbing them a ‘poor man’s Manhattan’.

Developers Bruntwood and Select Properties are planning a cluster of tall buildings ranging between 14 and 36 storeys in height.

One block will be made up of shops, offices, bars, a rooftop restaurant, a gym, creche and even an underground ‘pavilion’ events space.

The others will comprise a total of 677 luxury flats - complete with ‘home working lounges’ and a ‘media room’.

In between there will be a new public space called ‘The Green’.

The development will take up the majority of the site and will front onto Oxford Road.

At last month’s property conference, MIPIM, Select and Bruntwood were excited about the development - which they said is based around the ‘future needs’ of tenants.

But Mark Dowd, director of Chester Street management committee - which represents nearly 200 nearby residents living near to the site - said: the plans were trying to ‘force a quart into a pint pot’.

“These phase two proposals are even worse than I imagined,” he said.

“It seems the council are attempting to create a poor man’s Manhattan.

“Several buildings of seventeen storeys or more will stick out like a sore thumb on the local skyline.

“There is even one building, which if approved and is to scale on the council plans, threatens to be twice the height of the Palace Hotel clock tower.”

A spokesman for Select and Bruntwood said: “We want to have an open and transparent relationship with the local residents and neighbours of Circle Square, which is one of the main reasons we held our planning consultations in the building immediately adjacent to the site.

"We are committed to our vision to bring an innovative, new neighbourhood to the city with a key focus being to enrich the existing local community by introducing extensive green public areas, new homes and places to work, shop, meet and relax."

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