Swan With Two Nicks
Image from Google


PUB-LIKE CONSULTATION… Public consultations can sometimes be something of a stoic affair, tucked away at the back of an office or a hotel, almost as if people don’t want the public to attend. So kudos to Novo and Project3 who decided to break with tradition and hold theirs down the pub for a scheme proposed in Little Bollington. THING’s sources tell us that what started as a consultation at the Swan with Two Nicks gradually evolved into a lock-in, so expect a few indecipherable comments on the feedback forms. And speaking of comments, the team at Novo has also taken the direct approach to criticism, responding to residents’ concerns on these very pages and sealing them with a kiss. Have a look here at the back-and-forth.

Question Time

HANGING OUT… Amid the more serious debate at this week’s special Question Time event, which gathered all four of Greater Manchester’s leaders together, one particular issue really got under the skin of Manchester City Council boss Sir Richard Leese. Responding to a question on under-investment in transport in the North, Sir Richard first regaled the audience about a meeting with Network Rail, which he described as “the most depressing 45 minutes I’ve ever spent”, before threatening to “hang the next transport secretary by their toes from the top of the Beetham Tower” to get the transport investment the city and the region needs. Andy Burnham was sitting next to him, but nobody expected a rebuke – in fact, the GM Mayor offered to hold the other foot.

Mayfield Office 2 October 2019

GOING SWIMMINGLY… The development of the £1.4bn Mayfield site has picked up the pace in the last week with the submission of a planning application for a 244,000 sq ft office, the second of two commercial spaces planned in the opening salvo of the scheme behind Manchester Piccadilly. However, developer U+I isn’t satisfied by calling them the usual ‘No1 Mayfield’ and ‘No2 Mayfield’ and has instead opted for The Poulton, naming the building after “amphibious man” George Poulton. Poulton came to fame in the 1850s for promoting public health at Mayfield Public Baths, which formerly sat on the site of the office. In the same spirit, the planned building will have a double-height ground floor space which will be open to the public for sport, leisure, and co-working. Although, does anyone fancy putting their hand in their pocket to stick a swimming pool on the roof…

CUT-AND-CARVE… ‘Tis the season for hacking apart large specimens of the plant cucurbita pepo – that’s a pumpkin to the rest of us – with pointy objects, and property’s great and good certainly obliged. The results, as always, varied significantly from the half-arsed to the artistic. Social media was the place to be to pick your favourite, and Clancy Consulting even put their office pumpkin carving competition out to the public: you can have a look at their efforts above. You can vote for whichever one you like but THING, of course, will remain proudly neutral.

Sepulchre Lane

Sepulchre Lane in Kendal: not quite as macabre as it sounds. Image from Google.

URNING CONSENT… Keeping with the seasonal theme: THING spends plenty of time trawling committees and portals to track down the interesting, the odd, the quirky, and the controversial in the world of planning applications. This week up in South Lakeland, a planning application for a site on Sepulchre Lane was heading to committee, including burial plots for 4,000 urns outside Endmoor in Kendal. It seems like officers wanted to make the scheme all the more appropriate and decided it should go to committee on… 31 October.

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I assume that there is no suggestion of anything untoward happening at a public consultation where everybody gets drunk. Be interesting to see how the planning committee would view this when deciding on whether to grant planning on a green belt…

By LittleMissPlanner

@LittleMissPlanner – you can tell you work in planning!

By BillyboyCauseDaveWasBanned

Fantastic nod to George Poulton, well done U+I. Very refreshing that it’s not just ‘No.1’.

By Thumbs Up.