A TOWER TOO TALL AND IN THE WRONG PLACE IS APPROVED
Manchester City Council has today granted itself planning permission to build a controversially tall tower right in the centre of Manchester’s historic central core.
Please ask the government to step in here. Details are below.
The site is in a Conservation Area, one of 9 interlocking ones and within 250 metres of 72 listed buildings. These include Manchester’s nationally acclaimed Town Hall and Albert Memorial, both Victorian masterpieces and St Ann’s Church. All three buildings are Grade I listed, i.e. in the nation’s top 5%.
There is no dispute that tower will cause harm to the setting of these buildings. The issue is where such harm sits on the scale of things. If it is deemed ‘substantial’ then the tower just could not be built. National Planning Guidelines would forbid it.
But the harm here has been assessed by Historic England as just marginally less than substantial.
Many disagree, including all the professional bodies who seek to guard our heritage from damage and of course Manchester Civic Society.
In high-profile and contentious cases like this, central government can refer the case to its independent planning inspectors. Manchester Civic Society has already made such a request.
We hope that all who value Manchester’s unique historic city centre to add their voice to our request for review by emailing central government on firstname.lastname@example.org asking for the case to be reviewed. The case number is 114664/FO/2016
Those interested may also wish to sign the petition about this at Change.org.