It is understood Historic England, which used to be English Heritage, is not impressed by the scale of the skyscrapers.
But Mr Neville said the only way to fit everything wanted by the council onto the site – while also opening it up and including considerable public space – was to build upwards.
He said for him the two plazas, to be known as St Michael’s Gardens and St Michael’s Square, were the stand-out part of the development.
“A large part of the site is usable to the public. That’s something that was driving us from day one and that’s what pushed us,” he added.
The site lies entirely in the St Peters/Deansgate Conservation Area. The pub is the gem, few tears will be shed for the ugly synagogue of replaced, the front block of the police station (council owned) though is well mannered and could be converted.The site is aching for a place centered treatment retaining the pub and building up on the site of the Synagogue. The problem is that the strategic regeneration framework for the site is an overlong laundry list and is confusing on which historic assets to retain, triumph of conflicting interests over good urban design. By not being ‘prescriptive’ it abrogates the first statutory duties of the City towards heritage conservation. Indeed the document was prepared by Make rather than independently by the council.
Indeed it shows why Ken Shuttleworth is our worst architect. The description of úrban grain’ entirely neglects indeed wipes out teh existing buildings on site, and rather than repeating and connecting that grain simply proposing two monolithic pavilion blocks in New York Style plazas entirely alien to Manchester, and obliterating the setting of the Grade 1 listed Town Hall. a monster.