Calls for Manchester City Council to bring forward public realm rather than a car park on the site of the former Central Retail Park in Ancoats are gathering pace, after more than 3,800 signatures were added to an online petition.
Campaigners are aiming for 4,000 signatures ahead of Manchester City Council’s planning committee on 22 August when the proposals are due to be discussed, recommended for approval by officers. As of this morning the total was 3,889 signatures.
The petition states: “If the car park is built, there will be around 1,000 cars moving in and out onto already busy Great Ancoats Street. This will increase pollution in a city with appalling childhood asthma rates and one which consistently ranks amongst cities with the worst air quality in Europe. The site is also right next to a primary school.
“Manchester City Council has declared a climate emergency, and has committed to reducing carbon emissions. Building a huge car park that will increase pollution is in direct contradiction to this.
“Please sign the petition now, and call on Manchester City Council to turn this area into a much needed green community space for families, residents and visitors.”
The site previously held retail units for Toys R Us and Mothercare, along with a YMCA, until the land was raised in May this year.
The proposal for a temporary 440-space car park along with a portakabin for contractors is to be erected on a five-year lease. According to a covering letter submitted with the application for the car park, planner Paul Butler Associates said: “The current proposals are to provide a revenue generating ‘meanwhile’ use for the site pending its future redevelopment.”
Proposals have been put forward by the city council for 500,000 sq ft of offices on the site after the five-year lease has expired on the car park.