Historic England Responds to New Plans for St Michael’s, Manchester
Catherine Dewar, Planning Director, North West at Historic England, said: "We have always acknowledged that development of this site could really help the regeneration of Manchester and that the city deserves a thoughtful, welcoming scheme that contributes to the area and its public realm.
"We welcome that the new proposals keep the Sir Ralph Abercromby pub and part of the former police headquarters. The scheme has also been improved with a new public square next to the pub and creating a more attractive route around and through the site. This would all contribute towards improving the Deansgate/Peter Street conservation area and make it more vibrant.
"Of course we now have only one tower and the developers have done a lot of work to limit the impact of the tall building by moving it to the part of the site furthest away from important historic buildings. However we feel that it will do some harm to the setting of the Town Hall, Albert Memorial and St Ann's Church due to its height.
"Whilst we recognise the sensitivity of introducing such a tall building in this important location, and the unavoidable impact this will have on the setting of three of Manchester's finest Grade I listed buildings, we also acknowledge the benefits the scheme will bring. The proposals would include bringing some buildings back into use and enhancing the surrounding conservation area. We will be advising Manchester City Council that, as per planning policy, any harm would need clear justification."