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Castlefield Residents Scare Off Restaurant Replacement

Jonathan Schofield on whether objecting has worked out for the area

Written by . Published on June 23rd 2014.


Castlefield Residents Scare Off Restaurant Replacement
 

A 'RESPECTED' craft beer and food company from London has retreated from plans to re-open the former Choice restaurant site in Castlefield. This follows our story here

What is clear is that a functioning and reputable bar-restaurant in the former Choice site would have brought more people down to this part of the canal and made it more attractive.

Residents from Castle Quay - the building which hosts the former restaurant site - scuppered the plan. Their objections apparently scared off the publicity sensitive company.

The prospective operator feared that any battle to get the relevant permissions would be protracted and damaging to future trading prospects. If nothing else, the clamour from Castle Quay apartment dwellers would have meant the vital summer trading season would have been missed.

The operator is no longer looking to open in Manchester.

It's a choice that is no Choice

It's a choice that is no Choice

Meanwhile the residents of nearby City Gate endorsed the plans with letters of support. 

One of the reasons for objection used by Castle Quay residents was that the developer of the building, Peel, had sold them their apartments promising a tranquil location away from the bustle of the city.

Jon Grieves, former proprietor of Choice, worked with the London company on the new venture and is disappointed.

"I've worked with the Castle Quay residents on this site for thirteen years so I thought they'd have trusted me when I assurred them the new place was good for the area. But you know how rumours grow - some people thought we were going to open a nightclub. 

"That was the opposite of what we intended. The new operators were determined to create a quality environment. There would have been craft beers and a bar but also a great emphasis on the food from snacks to full suckling pigs."

The licencing hours for the new bar restaurant would have been the same as The Wharf pub close by, 1am Friday and Saturday, midnight other days. 

City centre councillor Kevin Peel says, "There is tension between residents who don't want a late night licence under their bedrooms and companies who want to grow a business.

"Ultimately a compromise has to be found. This is usually possible but in this case it hasn't been. In the Northern Quarter lots of new bar and restaurant owners have been keen to engage with the community so it shows compromise can work."

Confidential thinks the summer closure of this important Castle Quay unit is a blow to the profile of the area, especially on this stretch of the Bridgewater Canal, the Deansgate/Chester Road end of the basin. 

What should be a showpiece area of the city centre is becoming ugly and unsightly, not least with the Heras fencing ineffectively closing off the 'wildflower' meadow where Quay Bar (and Canteena) used to sit.  

 Horrible fencing blighting the area

Horrible fencing blighting the area

A concerned Castlefield Forum walked Confidential through the area a month or two ago and it's not looking good. 

What's clear, is that a functioning and reputable bar-restaurant in the former Choice site would have brought more people down this part of the canal and made it more attractive. At the same time it would have brought in tenants who's self-interest would have meant they worked to ensure adequate upkeep of the basin and surrounding environment. In effect the residents have lost themselves an ally. 

The result of this exercise of resident muscle might be counter-productive. 

 As for Jon Grieves (who now runs a north west food and drink consultancy - click here) he's sad to say farewell to Castlefield.

"I've been part of this area for thirteen years promoting Castlefield, giving it a focal point and fighting its battles with many of the really great people around here. I'll be sorry to leave the area and to see Choice stay closed for the foreseeable future. In effect I've been here for a third of my life, so it's strange to become divorced from Castlefield and see Choice permanently dark."

You can follow Jonathan Schofield on Twitter @JonathSchofield or connect via Google+

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66 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousJune 23rd 2014.

I can see both sides. A new place to go alongside The Wharf would have been good and John would have been trusted to run it appropriately. I know that there have been multiple noise issues with other units in Castle Quay, which is probably why residents were so against it. But overall, I think this is a sorry decision. Another empty unit means that side of the canal is almost dead, for now anyway. Thankfully we have the Wharf - a fab local asset. The CQ residents need to be careful what they wish for. Would a vibrant and well-run pub not have increased the value of their apartments, as opposed to an empty, lifeless unit?

AnonymousJune 23rd 2014.

These "Castlefield Residents" would be more at home in the outer suburbs of Stockport rather than the heart of our City.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJune 23rd 2014.

Tend to agree. It's like the people who moan about there being events put on in the Castlefield Arena... an arena that pre-dates all the flats round there. If you don't like events / gentle pub banter (e.g. Wharf) then... live in the countryside.

AnonymousJune 23rd 2014.

I hope this doesn't put them off Manchester completely.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJune 23rd 2014.

It says in the article. 'The operator is no longer looking to open in Manchester.' Od dear.

AnonymousJune 23rd 2014.

Od dear?

AnonymousJune 23rd 2014.

Ob deer

AnonymousJune 23rd 2014.

Og daer

ShybaldbuddhistJune 23rd 2014.

Shame this didn't go ahead. Empty units are an eyesore. It doesn't do the area any good whatsoever. What do the people who blocked this want to go there in stead? They can't want empty units?

AnonymousJune 23rd 2014.

A real same and an odd...choice. Residents didn't mind a restaurant but don't want a bar. Although they are fine with the bar opposite, and the one next to Choice. I often think many city centre residents would be happier living up a tree in a remote field rather than a city centre with, you know, stuff going on.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJune 23rd 2014.

But the thing is as Choice showed it's a very difficult position for a restaurant.

AnonymousJune 23rd 2014.

Agreed, only a bar could work here I feel, a craft beer bar with decent food sounded perfect.

AnonymousJune 23rd 2014.

Gutted.

AnonymousJune 23rd 2014.

Stupid decision. There are already two bars/pubs within about 20 feet anyway so what difference would it have made? Plus places like The Banyan Tree and Binary Bar are on the ground floor of apartment buildings and don't see to have any problems.

Anon AnonJune 23rd 2014.

Why don't we ask Mr Greive what his licensing proposals were first....ridiculous. No one objected to the planning proposals and alterations. They pulled this application before consultation, didn't even go to the Council. This wasn't about licensing objections. No consultation from Mr Grieve about the scheme at all, seems to do most of his talking to ManCon rather than residents.

CC Venue MgrJune 23rd 2014.

Residents who complain when they are fully aware of where they are moving to are the bane of my life... Above my venue there are new residents who now complain about noise despite this venue predating them by 8 years... Want peaceful and tranquil? Move to the countryside!

4 Responses: Reply To This...
Mark.June 23rd 2014.

The City Centre is as much a residential area now as business / leisure. Times change. Have you ever considered getting soundproofing rather than telling people to move to the countryside?

AnonymousJune 23rd 2014.

If I wanted a quiet life I certainly wouldn't have moved in above an existing bar, Mark. Didn't they see it when they were checking the apartment? Seeing as the bar has been there 8 years before they arrived, if they want to stay maybe they should be the ones installing the soundproofing.

AnonymousJune 24th 2014.

"residential area" - how very curtain twitching and Bramhallesque.

AnonymousJuly 1st 2014.

Seriously? Excessive noise shouldn't be a mandatory condition of living in a city centre. It's absurd to suggest that not liking being kept awake at night is somehow suburban. And as for "residential area" - it just means a place where people live.

CC Venue MgrJune 23rd 2014.

Sound proofing has been installed at great cost to this venue.. yet still this isn't enough... They regularly complain about the noise from mine and another venue opposite.. I simply do not understand why you would love above a bar then complain of noise..

AnonymousJune 23rd 2014.

Looks like the pitchfork and flaming torch brigade prevailed. A shame. Shot themselves in the foot there.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJune 23rd 2014.

..or rather impaled their foot and then set it alight.

Jon GrievesJune 23rd 2014.

Anon Anon. Thank you for the opportunity to respond. Just to clarify the external planning proposal was rejected then also the licensing hours application to bring us inline with our local competition which had 11 objections plus Police & Council that highlighted the mood for this corner of Castlefield. I am sure you understand the diverse nature of Castlefield with its seasonal peaks & troughs and a successful business plan needs to be able to work throughout the year. The business needed these busier times to be able to exist when trade dropped (we have 13 years of experiencing these fluctuations) and that means maximising trade opportunities. When these objections were raised and we received the letters & emails it was then felt that in order to allow the process to be concluded it would be less likely that our neighbours would have a change of opinion and at that stage our investor partner decided to look elsewhere for a location that would be more appreciative of the offer. The application was then withdrawn to ensure nobody wasted anymore time on the project. I have written to all objectors and supporters to explain our position but have had not one reply and I feel I can reach a wider responsive audience answering Man Cons questions of the explanation why we will not reopen as the scheme we discussed in May. No cloak & dagger Anon, just the reasons why Choice will remain empty. Sad as that may be. Jon

JoanJune 23rd 2014.

There's no doubt Jon Grieves and Choice have been good for Castlefield and I'm really sorry to see them go. However I'd like to speak up for the residents whose actions are misrepresented in earlier, mainly anonymous, comments. Residents weren't objecting to a continuing operation, but had concerns about proposed changes made through a planning application and a licensing application. Residents are entitled to state their concerns, then there's a hearing. There have to be very good reasons before a planning and licensing committees refuse. Usually there's degree of discussion and compromise before the hearing, or, as best practice in my view, even prior to the application. This helps iron out problems and misunderstandings. I know Jon was intending to hold these discussions. I'm really disappointed that he hasn't found it possible to take this approach and has instead made the decision to close, without an attempt to talk to the neighbours.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJune 24th 2014.

Planning permission was delegated the Officers and granted. There was no hearing recorded in the Planning and Highways Committee Minutes. Apart from the Police and probably EH it is not possible to establish if there were other representations from the records. I assume Jon had advice about the time scales from his advisers and also the current way license applications are proceeded with. If I am as as resident making an important representation I take the initiative and call the applicants solicitor.

Jon GrievesJune 23rd 2014.

Joan, you knew how much I wanted to speak to residents but it plainly came down to the order of play and each objected stage added a further 8 week period to the process which unfortunately stretched the funds too thinly & far past this summer. Choice has been a family owned business since 2001 and our pockets were not bottomless. Things were out of my remit and unfortunately someone else will now have to decide wether Castle Quay can be a viable proposition. It has been a very personal journey for me for a longtime and some if the detail in the objections left me feeling rather empty and we all felt its time as a workable location to be over due to this negativity. It does cost money and raise risk if you want to go to a hearing to fight your corner and maybe a PLC could afford that risk but not us.

Hero
James CunninghamJune 23rd 2014.

Sad day with Choice closing, as it seemed their was new life been breathed into that area so that Castlefield became more than just Dukes...

AVoJune 24th 2014.

Well done residents of Castle Quay. I hope the roof of your building starts to leak. Irreparably.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJune 24th 2014.

So you've actually bothered to read all of the above, before making a completely dumb comment? Well done you.

AnonymousJune 24th 2014.

The residents did a great job keeping out the Simpson development, but I get the feeling they've shot themselves in the foot with this one. Jon ran a great establishment that I visited many times and I can't think of anyone who would have better balanced resident's interests and those of his business. Now I fear two possibilities; that the unit stays empty, or that the unit is acquired by a PLC that's prepared to 'do battle'. Neither is good.

AnonymousJune 24th 2014.

What a real shame, Castlefield has really been improved with the likes of the Wharf joining the stable of existing bars. However some parts of the area are looking a bit shabby again (as mentioned above). But I think it's the unkemptness that is a real shame. In particular weeds growing along the basin outside Castle Quay (if the residents cared that much about the area I'm hoping they are complaining about this too) and down by the Y. Also on the way down from the bridge to the Wharf. This is only going to damage the area further. It is time for bit of a sping/summer clean up to keep this gem of an area sparkling and vibrant. Hopefully we'll still see some activity in what is a great unit in the right hands.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
JonathanJune 24th 2014.

Or if the residents really cared about the area they'd organise themselves to get off their backsides one Saturday morning and clean it up! If they like to see themselves as a 'community' maybe they should start behaving like one :)

AnonymousJune 25th 2014.

The weeds around the basin are down to Peel holdings dragging their feet (as usual) and you can't just got round spraying weed killer willy or indeed nilly. The Forum are looking in to getting the appropriate insurance so they can organise volunteer events like you suggested. The community payback team are not permitted to work within so many meters of water so they can't clear the weeds. The next Forum meeting is on the 15th of July above Dukes. All are welcome. You'll also find out more about what's going on behind the scenes and how hard members of the Forum addressing some of the issues raised.

JonathanJune 25th 2014.

Balls to Peel. Balls to health and saftey nazi's I remembered when people in this country got things done!

AnonymousJune 25th 2014.

Well Jonathan, you seem like just the sort of person we want on the Forum. If you really knew how hard the forum (especially Carol Middleton and Ian Christie) worked you wouldn't be so flippant. A recent complaint regarding Heras fencing in the area was met with 'this isn't a council problem contact the landowner' from Kevin Peel. It's taken 2 years of meetings with Peel Holdings to address some of the other issues along the canal. Greater Manchester Police have been very supportive. There's a lot of good work going on and contrary to what you think and local residents are off their backsides and do care about the area. Then again it's easy to comment on here than get of YOUR backside eh?

AnonymousJune 24th 2014.

It would serve the "Concerned Residents" right if the space got took over by a Nando or Wetherspoons instead of a nice destination restaurant. Sod off to Wilmslow if you want "residential"

AnonymousJune 24th 2014.

It is becoming apparent that many city centre residents want peace and quiet. Local residents should take priority over lots of teen/twenty something revellers who flock into town looking for trendy drinking holes and loud pop music entertainment. Why should many city centre dwellers have their environment marred by the nightly influx of an unsophisticated, relatively immature, pop music loving and heavy drinking crowd from the suburbs? Couldn't these people arrange some entertainment closer to home?

10 Responses: Reply To This...
JonathanJune 24th 2014.

I hope this is a joke? A city centre should be loud, buzzing, full of music, young people, concerts, sporting events etc. If you thought living in the city centre would offer some sort of tranquillity akin to Wilmslow you are seriously deluded!!

AnonymousJune 24th 2014.

No joke. City areas change and develop over time, and the city centre is no different. Its new chapter as a residential area will mean a lessening of its role as playground for those youngsters who enjoy a loud and boisterous night life helped by drink and loud pop music. And let's face it, most of those youngsters are not urban sophisticates enjoying vibrant and cultural city centre living. They are far more likely to be suburbanites living at home with mum and dad or students from Fallowfield out for a few drinks and maybe a dance at a club. Hopefully this is development heralds a better time for the centre of a great city. In recent years it has become little more than a giant version of the drunken mayhem that is so common in small towns all over the country. Manchester deserves better than that.

JonathanJune 24th 2014.

So what do you propose a curfew at 9pm? An age limit on those allowed to enter the city after dark? Like it or not we have a drink culture in this country. It is no different in Manchester than it is in London, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool etc etc. If you choose to live in a boxy identikit grief hole then you must expect more traffic, noise, pollution etc than you would in curtain twitching Bramhall. This is the price you pay for having the amenities on your doorstep.

GimboidJune 24th 2014.

Seriously Anon, what is the point in living in the middle of a major city if peace and quiet is that important to someone? What is the attraction, compared to living in the suburbs/countryside? Genuine question.

GimboidJune 24th 2014.

The primary purpose of the city centre is economic activity. Whether you like it or not from the view looking down your nose, the nightlife economy is hugely important to Manchester. So no, local residents should NOT take priority over visitors. Suburbs are meant to be peaceful. City centres, not.

AnonymousJune 25th 2014.

Like the “economic activity” of those investing in the city to live; supporting both construction jobs in the first instance then subsequently spending considerable amounts of their annual income supporting jobs within the shops & services in the city? Those same residents paying higher council tax per Band than central London yet seeing little return in terms of basic services as the money get spent on MCC pet projects? These residents (some in Castlefield living there nearly 20yrs) should cede to the short term whims of tourists (contributing significantly less to the economy), selfish greed of absentee landlords and the laissez faire development strategy of the Council Executive? Manchester is big enough to accommodate all aspects of city living (as most great European cities do)- it just needs a bit of common sense in planning neighbourhood "quarters" and commercial "quarters," with strict enforcement of obligations when certain parties breach those limits on noise and tolerable behaviour.

JonathanJune 25th 2014.

What I am saying is that people who moved to these boxy little sad pads knew the script. As others have alluded to 'city living' is a relatively new phenomena in Manchester (post industrial revolution) so dedicated 'quarters' set aside from bars/clubs was a none option. To move into the city and then complain about noise is embarrassing, I have no sympathy!

AnonymousJune 25th 2014.

Jonathan, you are forgetting that city centre dwellers get older like everyone else. The flats are not occupied by an ever changing population of fun loving, pop mad youngsters like a university hall of residence such as Owens Park. As the area's residential population matures there will be more calls for quiet, and perhaps more calls for a broader range of facilities such as schools, green space and children's playgrounds.

AnonymousJune 25th 2014.

The city centre is no place for children. It's a business area, and an area for bars, businesses, adults and prostitutes - it has been for centuries, and long may it continue. If you want "Family Friendly" - move to Cheadle Hulme and get a 4x4

AnonymousJuly 1st 2014.

Anon, this is the kind of tiresome comment that makes me despair of the tedious parochialism that Manchester often displays. I don't think that you can proclaim who and what the city centre is for. The people that use the city centre will do that. Personally I think it's a shame that parts of town more resemble a vomity Oldham town centre on a Saturday night than what is ostensibly the second city in Britain. That's what's embarrassing. And FYI London is not the same - you're probably muddling it up with Croydon.

AnonymousJune 24th 2014.

Build some more 'Warehouses on Trafford Park for them. with a special easyclean tram, hey you can enjoy yourself Jonathan and no one minds if you puke.

Ralph BoweJune 24th 2014.

Jon was an ambassador for Castlefield and should have been trusted. I spoke to Jon and was shown the design and plans for the Hop Store. It would have been a great addition to the area.

JoanJune 25th 2014.

Trust is a lovely idea and in an ideal world I'd be happy to rely on it more. However any planning or licence permissions are attached to the premises, not the current owner or leaseholder. Had these applications moved forwards I'm sure a workable solution would have been found which could then have been written into the planning and licensing conditions.

Ralph BoweJune 25th 2014.

Replacing a Bar, Restaurant operated by Jon Grieve with another Bar, Restaurant operated by Jon Grieve. What is there to object to?

Hero
NiBsJune 25th 2014.

Seems to me the Residents have lost the opportunity to have some meaningful input into what was going to happen underneath them via John Grieves. For instance they could have asked for and negotiated shorter licence Monday to Friday. Now that is unlikely as they will have no influence in the camp of who is prepared to put the effort in to open a business there.

AnonymousJune 26th 2014.

I think its unfair that residents move in to an area and effectively change the way it operates. I want my city centre to be vibrant, buzzing and with choice. MCC need to consider the views of Manchester residents as a whole and not just those residents that have chosen to live in the city centre. This is an ongoing problem, look at the ongoing night&day vs resident fiasco

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJune 26th 2014.

'I think its unfair that residents move in to an area and effectively change the way it operates'? I agree Anon. We can't have that can we? In fact there are several large British cities where many residents moved in to in the 1950's, '60's and '70's where and over time they changed the way things operate, not just locally, but politically too. That's just racist Anon!

AnonymousJune 26th 2014.

Wow some awfully sad comments on here, particularly from Anon who wants a quiet simple life in the heart of an aspiring world class international city. It's NIMBYISM on a grand scale but as always those people say "I'm not a NIMBY, I just don't want it going on in my own back yard!!". I lived in Manchester for 8 years, mostly in St Johns Gardens (another very established mini community). Personally I did like that it was a bit quieter generally than other parts of the city but nevertheless there was always noise and a buzz if you opened the window but that is what you sign up for (I would even say enjoy) in a central city location. In fact the ONLY noise that I used to get really irritated by was the bloody hum/drone of Beetham Tower's fin on the roof on a windy night!! Yes I got older, yes we went out less on a saturday night to avoid the out-of-towners dry humping lampposts and smashing pint pots into each others faces and ultimately when we decided we wanted to start a family it was with regret that we opted to move out of the city; more so for better public services like schools and health facilities than a quieter location. I've a number of friends who were born and raised in New York city, i've visited and attended high school with them for the day a few blocks from Times Square and whilst there is a security guard on the gates will a handgun (such is the state of America's gun problems) the schools themselves were very good and to say a city isn't a place for children is the most stupid, archaic and narrow minded comment ever. Manchester isn't great for children to be raised in now because the inner city public childcare provisions and school offerings, in my opinion, are poor or you're commuting out of the city to drop the kids off only to join the traffic back in to go to work. Manchester will not be an internationally world class city without this added diversification of families choosing to live in the city as well as a continued strong student (University) population, young professionals, mature (I just mean over 40) residents and even those retiring to the city (Anon would be shocked but such a suggestion i'm sure - don't worry Anon, they can turn their hearing aids off if it gets too noisy but I suspect the noise and activity will be what they crave to feel younger, active and involved in life - I would). Again personally, once my children have grown up and hopefully gone off on their own adventure, my wife and I have already said we're moving back to this fine city, probably to St Johns Gardens. Hopefully when we do, that rich tapestry I see in other world class cities will be more established in Manchester as well.

1 Response: Reply To This...
GimboidJune 27th 2014.

Well said, bravo. Some people fail to see the big picture so badly it's as if they're wearing horse blinkers.

Al CourtneyJune 27th 2014.

Why buy a home in the City Centre and be surprised when it's noisier than living in the sticks . styx?!! Come on CQ residents - a retaurant in your beaut building won't generate half as much noise as people living in our great city's southern suburbs put up with from planes in & out of th'airport!!

Anon AnonJune 27th 2014.

I am a resident of Castle Quay, and people on here need to get there facts straight. - The residents were NEVER consulted, never spoke to Jon Grieve, no dialogue at all, just the notification of a pending licence. The only news we got was actually from previous articles on ManCon. - The licence included 'live music venue until 1am', not in line with the licences at Bar8 or the Wharf as Mr Grieve states. - No one had an issue with Choice, we didn't drive him away. Average food and dilapidating décor, coupled with competition did that. - This commercial unit is not designed for live music and significant sound proofing would be required. - No one objected to 'decking' being put out front, the Council noted he didn't have any rights as per his commercial agreement with Peel to do tat. Basically, he did not own that land. Nothing to do with the residents. - The licence application was withdrawn by Jon Grieve before being heard. - I personally didn't object to it being done up and format changed but wanted the licence altering to reflect, like Bar8 it is below a residential building. Closure at 12 like the others would have sufficed, provided sound proofing etc for live acts. - A number of residents have lived there long before Choice was there to nip the "Choice was there first" brigade. Mr Grieve's backers pulled out long before to explore other opportunities with no involvement of the residents. No one is stopping him doing it on his own, refurb etc. Don't believe a word that comes out of this mans mouth. Never let the truth get in the way of a good story though eh! I for one an am excited to see what will be used of the space and what the new owners of Bar8 have planned.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Jon GrievesJune 27th 2014.

Anon Anon (Would have been nice to know your real name given the personal attack) I am very offended by the comment "don't believe a word that comes out of this mans mouth" but let's be big about this and address your comments individually in order to "get the facts straight". 1. Several residents (regulars) were approached and the scheme was warmly received. If you were one of the naysayers then you will have received an email from me. Residents objected quoting on the basis of quiet enjoyment which made it difficult to build a response within the timescales we were set. 2. You may want to compare Bar 8's license PLN 051768 and The Wharf's PLN 141174. As you will know The Wharf has live music every week and you will see Bar 8 even have permission for live music outside. We were not asking for the provision of live music until 1am. We added inside live music until 11pm to the application to cover any need for a single acoustic guitar player much like the Wharf offers in case we ever needed it. 3. Your comments regarding the quality of the food do not match our awards and customer feedback and the décor was refurbished only last year. I do not believe you were a customer if you hold this opinion as I was very hands on and was very proud of the response from my guests. 4. We invested substantial amounts in professional sound proofing when we first opened and we never received a complaint for our piano music. 5. There were 2 objections to the outdoor scheme which we were asked to re-examine in a planning application but no decking was ever in the scheme as it is against the conservation vision of the area to cover the current paving. 6. The license we applied was to bring us inline with Bar 8's license which is not midnight as you state. 7. The investors pulled out after the objections for the license were examined and the financial viability was reworked with the subsequent delays. We also agree with the findings and therefore will also not reinvest any further funds into the site. 8. Not all the objections came from longstanding Castle Quay residents. 3 residents had only lived in the building for a couple of years and should understand where they are moving into. 1 resident above us rents their apartment and frequently items such as bottles were thrown off their balcony by tenants but we tend to have a live & let live relationship with neighbours. This is a hard lesson for all parties to be learnt and believe me in the end we lost the most. However there is no need to call my honesty into question as you clearly do not know me if you have jumped to that conclusion. You need to re-examine my quotes and not assume that the whole article has been directed by me.

Jonathan Schofield - editorJune 27th 2014.

Since Jon has replied to another Anonymous comment - how can we even know whether they live in Castle Quay or not if they are anonymous? - then I won't remove these rants but we have a rule whereby people should never make personal comments about people. They can email me directly and we'll investigate claims. Maybe the Anon above should realise that you should never say anything on the internet that you wouldn't say eye-to-eye to the person you are criticising. If you do then clearly you are a creep and a coward, weak, pitiful and not worthy of a moment's notice.

Phil GriffithsJune 28th 2014.

It's a shame it's not going ahead I am regular to the wharf and bar 8 and have lived in Slate Wharf for 2 1/2 yrs.As long as it was a run and had the same ethos as the above then it would be good for the area.

AnonymousJuly 1st 2014.

Choice was the quietest venue in Manchester. Jon respected his locals and always looked out for them. He is practically a resident and has been based there a lot longer then most of the residents. Yes Castlefield is a quieter area in the city and I am sure Jon would of respected that in the choice of establishment they wanted to put there. As if he would turn it into a music venue. Not all entertainment venues are like deansgate locks. I am astonished at the amount of people that complain about noise and establishments in the city centre. if they don't like it they should go and twitch their curtains in the countryside.

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