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EXCLUSIVE: Peel Back Down in Castlefield Row

Developer 'listens' to the residents

Written by . Published on June 7th 2011.


EXCLUSIVE: Peel Back Down in Castlefield Row

Last week we reported on the planning debate about the old Jacksons Wharf pub site in Castlefield.

Peel now have an opportunity to make a grand gesture. The Castlefield Forum has asked for the Block B site to be turned into an area with public amenity such as a garden. This could then work with the other pocket gardens being worked on across Castlefield to help bring beauty to the city centre.

The empty and boarded up building is owned by Peel Group and a decision had been made to defer a decision on approval of an out-of-scale redevelopment of the site. The main point of difference between the parties was over Block B, a large and intrusive building at the rear of the scheme. 

We wrote last week: ‘There is a wider interest than just that of Castlefield in this case. It shows that private and political representation against big business from those who live in a specific area can have bearing in planning decisions.

‘It shows that when democracy demands a voice - after organising itself as Castlefield Forum and friends have done -  then it cannot be ignored.’

Now Peel Group have decided not to proceed with the present proposal.

Ed Burrows of Peel told Confidential exclusively: “The site needs to be developed, it can’t continue as it is. But at the recent planning committee it was clear that local people didn’t want the present Jackson’s Wharf proposal to go ahead. The committee also made it clear that the present application including Block B would be refused.

"We’re seeking a meeting with the Council and the interested parties to see how we can move forward. We’ve tried hard over Jacksons Wharf, some people have said the plans were thrown together, that’s simply not the case. But we are listening to what they are saying.”

Ed Burrows is one of the Peel good guys and what he says about trying hard with the site is not up for debate – the architects that came up with the design is the well-known Ian Simpson Architects from around the corner at Knott Mill. The problem concerned the scale of the development and aesthetics not over the need to do something on the site.

Peel now have an opportunity to make a grand gesture. The Castlefield Forum has asked for the Block B site to be turned into an area with public amenity such as a garden. This could then work with the other pocket gardens being worked on across Castlefield to help bring beauty to the city centre.

The next planning meeting is on 30 June. Let's hope that the parties have reached some agreement on the future direction of the site by that time, so that another proposal can be put forward that satisfies all parties. 

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Kevin PeelJune 8th 2011.

I'm really pleased that Peel have backed down over Block B. It is a shame that it took massive opposition from myself and residents for them to do so, but lets hope they work constructively with councillors, residents and local businesses on the new plan, without Block B!

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