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10th February 2008
59,564 Posts
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Article is below picture. Has been talked about for a while now, but it's good to see it finally going forward.

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David Partridge of Argent Properties

Plans for St Peter's Square
Exclusive David Thame
29/ 1/2008

A MASSIVE revamp of St Peter's Square has been revealed by Piccadilly developers Argent.

Argent, who have been chosen to redevelop Elizabeth House at St Peter's Square, say they plan to do for the square what they have started to do for the Piccadilly area.

Improvements to the square, to transport, and to neighbouring roads including Mosley Street are promised as part of a wider plan to upgrade what was once the city's commercial heart.

A partnership involving local businesses and landlords - much like the Piccadilly Partnership created by Argent and Bruntwood five years ago - is to lead the effort.

Argent chief executive David Partridge, speaking exclusively to the M.E.N., explained how Argent, which has been behind the multi-million-pound regeneration of Piccadilly Gardens and the area close to Piccadilly Station, will tackle St Peter's Square.

"In many ways St Peter's Square is so much better located than anything else we've done. Although it is a bit run-down, it is brilliant for transport and perhaps not as run-down as some of the areas we've already ventured into in Manchester, London and Birmingham," he said.


"It's a real opportunity to do something with neighbouring landowners around St Peter's Square and Mosley Street, an area which is sadly neglected in Manchester. It was the traditional heart of the city, but it is run-down and whilst some developers have already begun to work in the area, we want to use our redevelopment of Elizabeth House to spearhead improvement in the area and use it to prompt a big re-think of the entire area for transport, pedestrians and businesses."

Argent's bid for Elizabeth House beat rival proposals from Development Securities, Miller Developments and Standard Life. The Greater Manchester Property Venture Fund, which owns the building, selected Argent after interviews. In March the fund will consider proposals to make a detailed planning application.

Nicholas Whipp, partner at GVA Grimley, which has been advising the fund on the future of Elizabeth House, said: "This will be a landmark decision for the core of Manchester and is another sign of the vital regeneration of the central area. Subject to planning, a building in excess of 350,000 sq ft could be located on the site, giving floorplates upwards of 25,000 sq ft in what is now regarded as the prime core of the city.

"The building will fall in with the regeneration of St Peter's Square and the important civic buildings of the town hall and Central Library. It is envisaged that the building will be available by 2011."

Argent are behind the massive redevelopment of London's Kings Cross, as well as working at Manchester Piccadilly.

799 Posts
Regional Centre Transport Strategy
Consultation Report
Manchester City Council
December 2007 (5 Year Plan)

"St Peter’s Square
Located on the opposite side of the Town Hall is St
Peter's Square, the site of a former church and
now a major public space incorporating the
Cenotaph, which is the focal point for the
Remembrance Day service. The Square is a key
gateway to the city centre and forms the setting for
a number of key civic buildings, including the
Central Library and the Town Hall.
The Square is currently dominated by a significant
number of buses entering the core area of the city
to access Parker Street via Mosley Street.
The adjacent Metrolink stop is one of the busiest in
the city centre providing good access to the
commercial, administrative and retail areas.
General traffic is currently restricted to southbound
movements from the adjacent Chinatown area and
from Princess Street which forms the northern
boundary of the square.
St Peter's Square itself forms the northern
boundary of the Petersfield area. There is a need
to strengthen the commercial positioning of St
Peter's Square by working with existing landowners
to bring forward an integrated development
framework and to enable a comprehensive
approach to be taken to the Square's future

As with Albert Square, one of the key issues is the
impact of high levels of traffic especially buses
which use the Square to access Parker Street via
Mosley Street. There is the opportunity to create a
significantly improved public space including better
public realm and thus facilitate the proposed
integrated development framework for the Square
by removing all traffic including buses.
The transport strategy proposals for the area
�� Additional Metrolink services and destinations;
�� Enhanced public space and development
potential by the removal of all traffic from the
Square including bus services;
�� Shared surface treatments to accommodate
servicing and access traffic to the Town Hall
and local businesses;
�� Redevelopment to create an international
quality area of open space;
�� No through routing of traffic on Princess Street
and Peter Street;
�� No access to Mosley Street except for trams;
�� Appraisal of options for underground car

Quite interesting read btw guys, lots of cool plans across the city (if you want a copy pm me, can't remember online link)

7,522 Posts
Underground car parking - that's what we need more of!
as I recall, the transport strategy proposes that there should be less underground car parking (which may be your point, irony is difficult to transmit on a forum like this).

Planning policies of the 60s and 70s often insisted on private underground car-parking; but they suggest that this provision tends to be under-used.

Develop a more sustainable approach to private
non-residential parking, especially in the
pedestrian priority core area, where it appears
that there is an over supply of underground
spaces and little demand - this needs to be
addressed through discussions between the
planners, the developers, agents and end users.

272 Posts
working underground is very expensive. could developers not partner with NCP?
Ie NCP pay for the underground carpark and pay a little towards the improvements of the public space above too

Mancunian Member
7,176 Posts
No irony, underground car parks are a great idea, they work great in Palma in Majorca

Camden Leisure Pirate
465 Posts
No irony, underground car parks are a great idea, they work great in Palma in Majorca
Well they certainly make driving exciting, with cars appearing on the road in front of you at speed, having swiftly exited an underground car park. bloody scary the first time you drive there!

7,522 Posts
No irony, underground car parks are a great idea, they work great in Palma in Majorca
I suspect that Manchester is different. I have not much more to go on than what it said in the strategy document - however it is no surprise that underground parking is unpopular; drivers much prefer to leave their cars on the street or in a multi-story.

In addition, I suspect the sort of executive that could maintain entitlement to a private reserved parking space in Central Manchester; is the sort of person likely to drive a car than would not fit into an underground space - Bentley, Range Rover, Porsche Cayenne.

Cowboy of Love
8,096 Posts
This is laying the ground for the almost inevitable "We are going to build on the Peace Gardens" announcement.

I'm also interested to know who is going to be taking all this new office space.
I notice Aurora is bursting at the seams with tenants.

4,422 Posts
I really hope the Peace Gardens are built on , there just is'nt any need to build there surely they can just build where Elizabeth House is , there are plenty of crappy building's that can be demolished and built on . there is the old BarclayCard HQ just off St Peter's Sq for starters .

The only reason the Peace Gardens will be built on is the city council selling it .

2,446 Posts
The peace gardens fail miserably in achieving the pupose of city centre green space. Nuclear free messages aside, its not particularly attractive and not well used. But whilst not reason to build on it, a redesign of the gardens and square as a whole is needed.

The new legislation that those opposing the Origin development on Princess street could surely be used on the peace gardens - Where an area has been used as a public park for 10 (or 15 maybe?) years it can be protected from development whether its use as a park was intended or not.

Despite my want of further trams in the city, both here and Mosley street suffer from its sything imposition on the area.

1,450 Posts
If I understand it right its 20 years of public use where no one has asserted their ownership, land that is municipally owned and managed is clearly not in any sort of flux. The power of that legislation is massively over rated anyway and applies to very specific situations; you can’t just take land ownership off the freeholder because they have chosen not to use it, or to use it a particular way in the past.

edit: the legislation actually says that the land must have been used without permission from the landowner for 20 year, building a park is an implicit invitation to use the land; likewise at Origin paying NCP to hold events on that land was implicit permission.

The peace garden is woeful, and only serves to shelter the plaza section between it and the town hall from tram and bus traffic. A building that didn’t spread too far across the Sq beyond the boundary of the gardens could actually have a positive effect in screening and defining the space that is left. This alongside the closing of the road that currently cuts Elizabeth House off from the square and a general reorientation of the spaces would be wholly positive.

Keep Changing.
1,598 Posts

Redesign for St Peter's Square in works
12:00 am, February 9, 2009
By Simon Binns

Manchester City Council will run an international design competition for the £20m redevelopment of St Peter's Square.

It hopes to attract “architects of world standing” as it seeks to reshape a square which the council sees as “inappropriate” and “disjointed” in relation to the Town Hall complex, which is due to begin its own £175m revamp this year.

The council sees the square as “a key strategic location” between the City Gallery, Midland Hotel and Town Hall Complex, and the buildings alongside West Mosley Street, several of which, including Elisabeth House, are proposed for redevelopment.

The council has budgeted £10m a year between 2012 and 2014 for the redevelopment of the square and The Pavilion building, next to the Peace Gardens, which the council said it believes could become “an iconic building, symbolising the modernism of Manchester”.

A report to Manchester City's Council's executive said: “The square does not currently act as a unifying element for the buildings that frame it, and does not provide an appropriate setting for the historically significant Town Hall complex.

“The council's ambition is to create a public space of international significance.”

English Heritage and neighbouring landowners are expected to be involved in developing the brief for the design competition.

Part of the requirement will involve a reduction in traffic, especially buses, within the square.

A new bus station in the city centre will be built to achieve this, although funding for that project has not been secured. The Peace Gardens will remain a feature of the square and the Cenotaph will not be affected.

The report also reveals the city council will save £1.7m a year in rent, service charges and running costs after the revamp of the Town Hall. It currently leases office space for 600 staff in five city centre buildings — Overseas House, Salisbury House, Barlow House, Basil House and Express Networks.

The revamped Town Hall will be able to accommodate 400 of them, with another 150 moving to Heron House on Lloyd Street. Around 80 office staff in the Central Library will also be relocated to the Town Hall extension.
£165 million boost for Town Hall Complex
Published Wednesday 11th February 09
In addition, an international design competition will be launched to remodel St Peter's Square. Library Walk would also be included in the proposed design competition which aspires to transform a space which currently does not provide an adequate setting for the town hall complex into a public space of international significance.

Part of the redevelopment of St Peter's Square will also see the creation of an appropriate, contemporary commemoration of the 1819 Peterloo massacre. An artist of international reputation will be appointed as part of the overall brief for the square.
Town Hall Complex Programme
11 February 2009
28 Library Walk

28.1 Construction works to create the proposed ‘galleria’ for Library Walk will

Fitted out restaurant and bar (including kitchen facilities) located in the
Rates Hall and Central Library accessed from Library Walk.

A lightweight glazed roof suspended between the extension and library.

Glazed curtain walling at either end.

Mechanical and electrical services as required.

29.St. Peter’s Square.

29.1 Whilst the brief for the International Design competition for St. Peter’s Square is still being developed, the following works have been costed for this Report. These are deemed to be those elements of the landscaping which are the Council’s responsibility.

29.2 Construction works will include:

New public realm including; landscaping, street furniture and lighting (not included in these costings).

A new ‘pavilion’ style building to house a relocated Children’s Centre, new public toilets to replace those on Mount Street and possibly the Tourist Information Centre

Improved public transport facilities

Appropriate treatment of Lloyd St
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