‘Peace of mind at a rea­son­able price’

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS -

A NEW 23-storey ho­tel is be­ing pro­posed for a prime lo­ca­tion near the sta­tion on Pic­cadilly.

Ja­panese chain Tokoyo Inn is plan­ning to build its first UK branch on an empty plot of land op­po­site the B Lounge pub, while also con­vert­ing the listed for­mer Union Bank build­ing next door.

The pro­posal, for land at the cor­ner of Gore Street and in front of the Wal­dorf pub, would fill in a site that has stood empty since around 1980. It would also bring the bank build­ing, which dates back to 1911 and has been empty more than a decade, back into use.

Be­tween them the sites would be­come a 326-room ho­tel promis­ing to of­fer ‘peace of mind at a rea­son­able price’. Three ex­tra street trees would be added to the pave­ment out­side, as well as 36 cy­cle spa­ces.

The ho­tel’s en­trance would be on Gore Street, with its break­fast area in­side the bank­ing hall of the listed sec­tion. Tokoyo fo­cuses on sites near to rail­way sta­tions, ac­cord­ing to the plan­ning re­port go­ing be­fore coun­cil­lors next week, with ex­ist­ing branches across the world in coun­tries in­clud­ing Ja­pan, Cam­bo­dia, South Korea, the Philip­pines, France and Ger­many. Rather than be­ing an ‘ex­trav­a­gant’ stay, it prom­ises to ‘of­fer the nec­es­sary fa­cil­i­ties and ser­vices and a safe, clean com­fort­able en­vi­ron­ment’,” ac­cord­ing to its sub­mis­sion.

It also plans to ‘de­liver a high qual­ity build­ing on what is cur­rently ‘gap site’ and bring a Grade II Listed Build­ing back into ac­tive use’.

Eleven ob­jec­tions have been re­ceived from neigh­bours, how­ever, largely fo­cus­ing on the ef­fects of the ho­tel’s height, but with other con­cerns also raised about the ef­fect on traf­fic and park­ing. Nev­er­the­less His­toric Eng­land says it is sat­is­fied with the plans for the listed el­e­ment af­ter Tokoyo Inn re­vised its orig­i­nal plans for the in­te­rior, while the coun­cil’s high­ways depart­ment has raised no con­cerns. The site has pre­vi­ously had per­mis­sion for a ho­tel in both 2007 and 2013, first for an of­fice de­vel­op­ment and later for a ho­tel, but the ap­proval has since ex­pired.

Plan­ning of­fi­cers are rec­om­mend­ing the lat­est ap­pli­ca­tion for ap­proval next Thurs­day.

An artist’s im­pres­sion of the Tokoyo Inn

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