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Mulbury’s £26m Castlefield scheme gets approval

Proposals for a scheme of 108 apartments on the former Excelsior Mill site in Castlefield have been granted planning permission by Manchester City Council’s planning committee.

Mulbury submitted plans at the beginning of April to transform the site of the former printing and book binding works in Hulme Hall Road which lies adjacent to the Bridgewater Canal.

The £26m eight-storey scheme has been designed by Manchester-based Tim Groom Architects. It features one, two and three-bedroom apartments which will be marketed for private sale.

James Alderson, head of Mulbury City, the company’s city centre residential division, said: “We’re pleased the committee endorsed our design which complements traditional and modern buildings in the vicinity while sitting comfortably alongside Castlefield’s historic core.

“We’ve already had significant interest from potential buyers for this development and look forward to starting on site in early 2018.”

The brownfield site had been vacant since the long-derelict mill partially collapsed in July 2015 and had to be demolished.

The design looks to reinterpret the architectural history of the site by replicating the old-fashioned printing trays in the building fenestration and by incorporation within the interior design of the building. The design also establishes an active frontage to the canal towpath with its double-height entrance.

Some of the apartments have balconies and access to a communal roof garden. A basement car park will provide on-site parking.

The scheme lies just outside the Castlefield conservation area. Mulbury held a public consultation on the proposed scheme and also consulted with Manchester City Council, Places Matter!, the Bridgewater Canal Company and local councillor Nigel Murphy during the planning process.

Deloitte Real Estate provided planning advice to Mulbury. Rachel Poole, assistant director at Deloitte Real Estate, said: “We are delighted that this decision will allow Mulbury to redevelop this vacant site. Inspired by the original mill, the proposed works will provide high quality residential space next to Manchester’s iconic Bridgewater Canal.”

The Excelsior Printing and Binding Works opened in July 1870. With capacity for 750 employees, it was one of the largest works of its kind.

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