The redevelopment of The Courthouse on Deansgate, Manchester represented Henry Boot Developments’ first major project within Manchester City Centre.
NJL were instructed to project manage the change of use planning application for the mixed-use redevelopment of this vacant Grade II Listed building.
The remit required NJL’s planning team to balance and resolve the inherent heritage issues, demonstrate alignment with Manchester City Council's sustainability criteria (including a BREEAM rating of ‘Very Good' and 20% carbon dioxide reduction), whilst simultaneously delivering a commercially viable scheme for our client.
A further challenge was presented in guiding the client, Council and heritage architects through the requirements of the recently adopted Planning Policy Statement 5: Planning for the Historic Environment (PPS5).
Recognising the potential complications associated with bringing historic buildings back into contemporary use, NJL took the decision to ‘front load' the application - identifying all design and commercial constraints in the first instance and incorporating technical and sustainability issues within the design agenda from the outset.
Early recognition of constraints presented by the building itself, our client's aspirations for the redevelopment, as well as the commercial viability of the scheme, allowed the team to establish design parameters. This was followed by extensive dialogue with the Council, in tandem with strong justification for intervention and alteration of Listed Building fabric to English Heritage, ensuring early agreement of key elements of the refurbishment proposals.
Early resolution of impediments to the proposals ensured delivery of a viable and attractive scheme, providing a foil to the adjacent Spinningfields development. A number of high-profile occupiers registered interest in The Courthouse. This represents a successful return to use for the landmark heritage asset in the heart of Manchester's commercial and retail district and demonstrates NJL's ability to deliver on challenging, multi-disciplinary projects.