Control of development
Development control is aimed at encouraging development which enhances the prosperity of the area whilst paying attention to its special architectural and visual qualities.
The replacement of some of the more recent and less architecturally interesting buildings around the Square would be acceptable but they should not diminish the dominant qualities of the library, Midland Hotel or Town Hall Extension. Heights of proposed developments should respect and relate to adjacent buildings and spaces.
Most development proposals will require planning permission and even minor works may also require the prior approval of the City Council. Alterations to listed buildings 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, which will also require consent.
As with all new development, proposals are considered in their context. They may require the preparation of designs shown in the context of an entire street or square, or as views down long vistas, especially if seen from the junction of two streets. The urban design context is vital in areas such as this, and proposed buildings should take account of the character of the whole conservation area rather than evolving designs which could be located anywhere in Manchester or indeed in any other city.
In line with most parts of the city centre, not just conservation areas, new development proposals should generally be aligned to the back of pavement to preserve the linear character of the streets.