Control of development
As with all Manchester conservation areas, development control in Shudehill is aimed at encouraging development and activity which enhances the prosperity of the area, whilst paying attention to its special architectural and visual qualities.
Shudehill conservation area has extensive plots of land awaiting redevelopment and it lies within an area deemed suitable for commercial purposes. This permits office and retail uses, but mixed commercial premises, including light industry and showrooms, would also be acceptable.
The close proximity of the Arndale Centre adds to the potential for expansion of retail uses in Shudehill. New development in the area should respect the existing street pattern, allowing maximum permeability. New buildings or controlled, landscaped, open spaces should make use of existing views and vistas.
On the east side of the area building heights should be much lower, and consistent with the smaller scale and narrow-fronted character of existing buildings which line the sloping streets.
The renewal of older floorspace for owner-occupation is acceptable in principle provided that a high standard of design is achieved. Public car parking would also be an acceptable use of vacant land provided that adequate environmental standards are implemented in the scheme.
Most development proposals will require planning permission. Even minor works such as the replacement of windows may also require prior approval of the City Council. Alterations to listed buildings which affect their character require Listed Building Consent. The City Centre Area Team will be willing to give advice on such matters which should be sought at an early stage, as should advice on any demolition proposals in the conservation area, since these also require consent.
As with all development, proposals are considered in their context. For example, new buildings may either occupy vacant sites or replace existing buildings that are either physically worn out or not adaptable to present day uses. Sensitive development on the sites currently left vacant would have a beneficial effect on the overall urban environment of the conservation area.
Applications may require the preparation of designs which show the proposals in relation to an entire street or vista, particularly if the proposals are visible from the junction of two streets. In such locations, the architectural emphasis of the corner of the building is often advisable.
The urban design context is vital in certain areas. Designers of proposed buildings should take account of the surrounding character rather than evolving a design which could be located anywhere in Manchester, or indeed in any other city.
New development proposals should generally be aligned to the back of the pavement, in order to preserve the linear character of the streets.