Castlefield site for sale sparks local opposition

A 0.45-acre grassland plot in the canal basin is being marketed by Savills, with residents group Castlefield Forum strongly against development on the site.

Plot G is the piece of land between Merchants Bridge and The Wharf pub. The land value is estimated at £1.4m, with a deadline for expressions of interest of the 15 October. The freehold is held by Manchester Ship Canal Properties.

The plot has expired planning permission for a six or seven storey block of 45 apartments, or a commercial development with restaurant and hotel.

Castelfield Forum has called on Manchester City Council to retain Plot G as open space by contributing to acquisition and landscaping of the site in partnership with local and public-spirited businesses, developers and residents.

Carol Middleton, chairman of Castlefield Forum, said: "We fought a long, hard and successful five year battle to prevent inappropriate development of the site next to Plot G. It was a 'David & Goliath' victory with the proposals going to public Inquiry, which we and the Council won and the developer lost. They then sold the site to Brunning & Price who now run the stunningly popular pub, The Wharf, on the same site. We would fight an equally hard campaign to prevent inappropriate development of Plot G.

"We welcome new development in Castlefield. We'd love to see new development on the Cantina site by the Bridgewater Viaduct or along Bridgewater Street, and phases three and four of Potato Wharf. But Plot G is different. It lies at the heart of the canal basin. Keeping it as open space is crucial to the openness and parkland aspect of the area. Castlefield basin is truly unique, a jewel in Manchester's crown that should be protected for the present and future."

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Which part of city centre living do these people not understand. If everybody had the same opinion they would not be living where they are living. If they want green space tell them to move to Hattersley, lots up there!

By Peter Wall

Sounds like an Asset of Community Value to me…

By Interested Party

Peter – City Centre living does not mean every part of green space in the centre needs destroying… regardless of whether you’re a local resident or not, do you want every piece of open space building on? I think not! This won’t get though planning easily.

By Local business

Castlefield is a magnet in the summer for people coming to visit and relax, use the local shops, bars and of course, the market. With less and less open space available to relax and enjoy the environment, the unique environment that is part of the urban heritage park, then this will create a negative effect on the area.
Peter – urban spaces are not just about building high rise buildings on every inch, for urban areas to prosper and survive, they also need to be mix use and attract visitors – and visitors should be encouraged to visit and enjoy an area so important in the city’s history – This plot sits in a prime position in the centre of it – The only green space like it.
There are many other unused areas surrounding and in castlefield itself, such as the area bordering Chester Road/Bridgewater viaduct, which is perfect for further development, and is land which is not use and boarded off.
I think if this plan goes ahead it will be a great shame for the area and negatively impact it.

By Castlefiled Visitor

Build another pub – look how much busier the beer garden is in the pic.

By mancboi

Peter lets fill in the canal as well, i think we could get a few hundred units in there…

By peter roof

"Which part of city centre living do these people not understand?". Probably the part that says that our city leaders prefer to build or concrete every square foot of our green space. Our beloved Council should take a trip Westward down the M62 to see how a city can grow in a high quality manner.

By Ian Jones

Green areas is an important part of living in the city. I can take my children and have a wonderful time. The city centre is for family too and I think the council should star thinking in opening schools and nurseries to encourage more families in the heart of the city.This green part of the castlefield area is part of our open spaces that we can enjoy with out worring of crossing streets

By livingincastlefield

Planning has now gone in for Plot G. Such a waste. Such failings by the council. Please don’t let this happen.

By We need green space.

Why do residents of Castlefield think the council should spend lots of public money on a scrap of turf, a privately owned development plot, just for them to enjoy? There are far better uses of funding that will benefit far more people.

By Pitchfork

Because Castlefield is in the city centre so it isn’t just the people who live there who get to enjoy it. There is a dirth of usable public spaces in the city centre, and this is one of them.

By Zebith

Who said it is just for Castlefield residents ???
Nobody.

MCC council should spend money on saving some green space for the 30,000 city centre residents along with however many thousands of visitors.

By We need green space.

Nobody would make a trip to Castlefield especially to use this bit of turf. It’s not on or near any main train or tram stations or a part of town that has many people passing through it. Purchasing this plot of land at great cost would be of benefit for Castlefield residents only and even then it’s poorly integrated with the built form, no natural surveillance. Manchester desperately needs more open and green space – this is not it I’m afraid. It would be an indulgence and a poor use of public money. Please can I have a new park near me?

By Pitchfork

Why do people have to make special trips to it for it to be of value? How do you know some of the people who currently go hang out at Castlefield on sunny days wouldn’t be put off if its suddenly a bit more hemmed in and that nice grassed area is gone?

Fewer and fewer opportunities for nice public space in Manchester city centre. Should protect the ones that people clearly value.

By Zebith

When I lived in The NQ for a year I always walked down to Castlefield to use the greenspace, I met lots of people there who came from all over and it is less than 5 minutes away from Deansgate-Castlefield train and tram so your talking nonsense there.

Manchester City Centre needs more greenspace.  Here we have known and loved greenspace that could be preserved.

It is going to be expensive to do now anywhere in the city centre, but thats the council’s lack of foresight, they need to cough up now while theyre in a boom and before it gets any more expensive.

30,000 people have invested in Manchester City Centre, the council need to return some of the investment now.

There aren’t any large clearings left in the city centre so 2 or 3 pocket parks is the only solution left.

By .

the only real option for a proper city centre “park” that would be safe from future redevelopment – and that could frankly be incredible – is a high-line style park on that disused rail bridge in Castlefield…. that would be absolutely superb, a proper visitor attraction and if well-managed with the right retail operators on it, even a source of sustainable income.

By Frank Gallagher

Agree there Frank – could be a very exiting prospect that. Wonder if the new leadership might just have the vision to deliver such a thing?!

By Zebith

quoting:- “Wonder if the new leadership might just have the vision to deliver such a thing?!”.
……………….which usually means give it to Planit i.e.
Seriously though – after all James Corner did study his Landscape Architecture Degree at Manchester Poly – although it is well known the already established Parisian’ Promenade Plantee’ was the real template that was copied. Both schemes were driven by local residents forming ‘friends of’ to secure the structures future in the first instance. However, in the UK where law is based on property not people, such initiatives usually kill this dead. I’m sure the viaduct already has groups of committed preservationists advocating for its future, however, it is not in the best state of repair and would need massive investment to stabilise it before anyone would consider any actions about its use, let alone earn a return on it. Such is why historic buildings and structures are allowed to rot in then UK in the first instance, the obsession and protection afforded to private ownership remains the biggest obstacle to achieving a harmonious public realm. ( see also Santiago Calatrava’s Irwell Bridge and the way it lands, and the approaches to it, on either bank, as a perfect example of how thin ‘ransom strips’ of privately owned land massively effect this).

By Cassandra

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