Downing announces ambitious plans to transform First Street

To reflect changing market demands, Downing Students launches a public consultation for its updated proposals for Block C, Plot 11 at First Street, Manchester.

Concept image of the proposed PBSA scheme at Downing Student's Block C, Plot 11 at First Street in Manchester | PBSA News
Concept image of the proposed PBSA scheme at Downing Student's Block C, Plot 11 at First Street in Manchester.

Property developer, constructor, operator, and manager Downing Students launches a public consultation today for revised plans for Block C at its First Street development in Manchester, having already been granted planning permission in 2021 for four new co-living buildings (Blocks A, B, C and D), ranging from 10 to 45 storeys.

The updated proposal for Block C is set to deliver a new purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) scheme in place of the currently proposed co-living accommodation. 

Construction works in relation to the first two phases of development at Plot 11 started in March 2022 and is expected to complete in late 2024/early 2025, after which residents will be welcomed into their new homes.

Subject to planning approval, it is envisaged that works in relation to the third phase of development (comprising Block C) will start following the completion of the first two phases. 

“We’re delighted to be bringing forward this revised proposal for Block C, Plot 11, First Street. Considering the significant increase in the demand for PBSA in Manchester city centre, we hope that the development will not only contribute towards meeting this need, but also diversify the residential offer at First Street and help to solidify its status as one of the city’s most successful regeneration stories.”

Ian Harrison, Projects Director, Downing Students

There is an established need for high-quality PBSA across Manchester, particularly in accessible locations such as First Street which is located nearby the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University Campuses, public transport linkages, and key services and amenities located within the city centre.  

In addition to contributing to an identified need for PBSA, the revised proposal for Block C has also enabled Downing Students to make improvements to the public realm offering that will be delivered as part of the wider plans for Plot 11.

The new plan includes a larger public park, which has allowed for an increased number of trees to be planted, improved pedestrian and cycle routes and a net increase in Biodiversity Net Gain. 

The updated proposal would complete the development of Plot 11 and help to fulfil long-standing regeneration ambitions for First Street. 

Feedback on the plans can be submitted until Sunday 12 November 2023. As part of the consultation, a public drop-in session will be held on Wednesday 1 November 2023 between 4pm and 7pm.