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Castlefield rebellion

Plans for Jacksons Wharf pub spark public protest

Written by . Published on May 28th 2011.


Castlefield rebellion

Bank Holiday Sunday saw Castlefield residents stage a protest against plans by Peel Group to build a two block building on the site of the former Jackson's Wharf pub at Castlefield canal basin. Residents want Peel to scale down their plans and use part of the site as a park for everyone to enjoy.

Among the protestors were two city centre councillors, Marc Ramsbottom (Leader of the Liberal Democrat opposition on the City Council) and Kevin Peel (Labour). The campaign is actively supported by residents and local business representatives who’ve written to the Council objecting to the plans. Signatories include Neil Jones, Chief Executive Pride of Manchester Group and Jonathan Schofield, Manchester Confidential editor.

If you didn't get to the protest, you can still sign the petition HERE 

Times have changed there's still room for that kind of commitment in today's society. Peel Group could even choose the name for the new park”.

This is a great opportunity," said Carol Middleton, Chair of Castlefield Forum," for Peel to enhance its image as a progressive developer. Their website says their guiding corporate principles include “enhancing quality of life and well-being, improving leisure and tourism, enhancing green infrastructure and integrating and sharing with established communities.”

PROTEST 13.jpg"We think they could achieve all these things if they just build one new apartment block instead of two, with a park in place of the second block which is much too close to existing buildings. This would maintain the open parkland character of the canal basin and preserve the views and amenity of existing residents. It would also enhance the area's bid for World Heritage Site status and add to the quality of life for all users of the unique spaces we know as Castlefield”. 

Peel Group currently own Manchester Ship Canal and John Lennon Airport. Until recently they owned the Trafford Centre. They developed MedfiaCityUk and last week unveiled ambitious plans for Liverpool’s northern docklands.

"At the time canals were built," said campaign supporter Joan Davies "wealthy industrialists were often philanthropists, endowing the local community with schools, hospitals and parks.  Although times have changed there's still room for that kind of commitment in today's society. Peel Group could even choose the name for the new park”.

Peel had their initial plans turned down by the Council and their appeal rejected by a Public Inquiry. Campaigners looked closely at the Planning Inspector's report and Council’s evidence to the Inquiry and believe their plan is more in keeping with the area than which Peel propose.

JW real.jpgIan Christie, Secretary of Castlefield Forum, said: “Last year Peel’s Chair John Whittaker almost doubled his personal wealth from £1.01bn to £2.07bn as he moved up the Sunday Times Rich List from 50th to 28th place. All we’re asking him to do is reduce the size of the development by some 25 apartments. You’d think someone in his position would be more than happy to do this if it meant bequeathing something very special to the city”. 

 “The Council’s own Events and Marketing Strategy for Castlefield describes it as, ‘one of Manchester’s most outstanding public places…. undeniably beautiful (with) character and soul… one of the few green and open spaces in the city centre, and certainly the only outdoor location large enough for people to explore.’  A park behind the main block would help maintain this character”.

Remember, if you want Castlefield to be beautiful, you can still sign the petition at HERE 

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

AnonymousMay 30th 2011.

I notice the design has the usual 'brick effect' which is Ian S's response to English Heritage's demand that at least there is some echo of the neighbouring location. Both of them should be ashamed of this notion.

Duke FameJune 2nd 2011.

I really don't think a local business should have to provide a park for local residents just because the local residents include a couple of voiciferous councillors. It seems to me, they always want something for nothing.

Anthony McCaulJune 9th 2011.

Duke Fame, I have to disagree with you. If a company is happy to use an area to make money they should be ready to give something back. One issue we residents of the city centre have is the lack of green spaces even for a city. The Co-op are redeveloping the area around Shudehill for their new head office. They are not just building but planning to add many green spaces. There is a level of corporate responsibility that companies like Peel Holdings should have but quite clearly don't. Look at what they are proposing to do at the bird reserve in Liverpool. It's more like corporate recklessness and I for one am glad to see councillors and residents taking action against it.

Calum McGJune 10th 2011.

So, Duke, how you YOU plan Castlefield?

Calum McGJune 10th 2011.

Apologies, typo. So, Duke, how would YOU plan Castlefield?

AnonymousJuly 9th 2011.

Mr.Peel, I mean Duke don't talk nonsense. Castlefield should be preserved, have the council not learnt from the mistakes of knocking half of Ancoats down in the 90s. That could have been a public space with a heritage up there with the Albert Dock. Whoeevr was guilty should be hung from the clock in the Albert Square. New Islington glass shoe boxes my arse.

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