Developer says building will not be used for animal testing after planning objections

Plans for the latest phase of Bruntwood SciTech’s Manchester Science Park have been approved by city councillors. 

The joint venture between Bruntwood and Legal & General will deliver a £60m redevelopment of the park’s existing Greenheys building to bring 131,000 sq ft of lab space to market. 

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Source: Bruntwood SciTech

CGIs of the planned Greenheys building

Greenheys will be transformed into a six-storey development for life science businesses working in diagnostics, genomics, biotech and precision medicine. 

Specialist design features include increased vibration resistance and floor loading, the provision of piped gas distribution systems and enhanced cooling and ventilation systems. 

It is the third phase of the park masterplan and is expected to open in spring 2026, with enabling works beginning later this summer. 

As well as providing 62,000 sq ft of space for start-ups, the building, which sits in the heart of Manchester’s Oxford Road Corridor innovation district, will be the new headquarters for UK Biobank, a major source of data and biological samples for health research. 

The development is targeting BREEAM Excellent and will be 100% electric.  

The project team includes BDP Architects, planning consultancy from Deloitte, cost consultancy from Walker Sime, DW Consulting for Structures and Civils and Silcock Leedham for MEP. 

The scheme received unanimous permission at a planning committee meeting yesterday (Thursday), despite concerns raised by objectors that the lab space could be used for animal testing at some point in the future.

A representative for the developer gave assurances to councillors that “no animal testing would take place within the building” and planning officers noted that ethical considerations such as this could not be the basis of planning conditions.