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Albert Vaults tower block on Chapel Street cut to 8 storeys

Developers proposing a new residential tower block on the site of a former pub on Chapel Street in Salford have cut the height of the building in a bid to get it through planning.

The Albert Vaults, which backs onto a Victorian railway bridge for the the adjacent Liverpool to Manchester train line, closed in 2009.

In November 2014 agents Paul Butler Associates, on behalf of Sir Richard Lapthorne, submitted an application to Salford City Council for a 40-metre tall towerblock in its place, with 40 one-bedroom flats across 11-storeys and a retail store on the ground floor.

But after conversations with Salford City Council planning officers, they decided adjustments to the scheme “are likely to be necessary” and in March 2015 went back to the drawing board.

New renders for the scheme show the tower block will now reach 8 storeys high and will be clad in more traditional red brick.

The number of flats has been dropped to 24, with 516sq ft of A2 retail units on the ground floor.

The new plans state: “The height of this development has been discussed in great detail in particular with Salford City Council’s planning department.

“The original proposal was for a scheme of 12 storeys. Subsequent designs ranging in height from 11 storeys to 16 storeys have been discussed [but] it was concluded that this would potentially impact on the amenity and privacy of existing residents too much.”

Albert Vaults 11 storeys

The original plans for an 11-storey tower block

overhead albert vaults

Paul Butler Associates admitted the site was “constrained…with its proximity to the railway” but said it would push forward with the bid as “a great opportunity site in a key gateway location to Salford.”

Planning consent was granted some five years ago to convert the ground floor of the Albert Vaults building into a cultural centre and homeless shelter for the New Generation Missionary Project.

This landmark build never went ahead, and the pub was demolished.

The former Albert Vaults pub, now demolished - by Stephen Broadhurst

The former Albert Vaults pub, now demolished – by Stephen Broadhurst

The Albert Vaults under demolition in 2012, by Matt Doran

The Albert Vaults under demolition in 2012, by Matt Doran

The site is made a little more complex because of its proximity to the railway line: within 500 yards is Salford Crescent railway station.

Planning documents stated the “prominent yet disused brownfield site…currently detracts from
the visual appeal of the local area” and that the proposed scheme would provide one-bed flats where there is identified need for professionals and first time buyers, as well as “rais[ing] Salford’s profile, acting as a continuation of large scale regeneration projects on Chapel Street, indicating the centre of Salford City, creating a sense of arrival and place.”

Further down Chapel Street major developments have been granted recently, including 995 flats in front of the Lowry Hotel, a six-storey apartment block at the junction with Caxton Street, and BetFred magnate Fred Done’s two towerblocks at the site of the Black Friar pub.

Read: Council recommend approval for 995 flats by Lowry Hotel

Read: Council to approve Fred Done’s 380 flats at derelict Black Friar pub

Read: Work starts on £850,000 Assetz Salford Chapel Street tower block


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Tom is SalfordOnline.com's News Editor and community co-ordinator.