Picc Gardens

Wall still set for demolition under revised Piccadilly Gardens plans

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

Manchester City Council is set to appoint a lead designer in July to revise proposals for the revamp of Piccadilly Gardens, to include the demolition of the Tadeo Ando wall and the creation of a green wall facing the bus stops.

Pavilion leaseholder Legal & General withdrew a planning application for £2m of works to Piccadilly Gardens earlier this year. The proposals were submitted in 2017 and would have seen the existing Pavilion and separate feature wall replaced with two buildings, linked by a covered area of public space, alongside improved lighting to deter anti-social behaviour, extra seating, soft landscaping, and a re-lay of the pedestrian thoroughfares.

The application was pulled with the agreement of the council, who said it would commission a landscape architect to draw up fully-costed alternative proposals, which the council would fund.

In response to a Freedom of Information request asking for an update on the plans, the council said it remains committed to refurbishing the Gardens

“At this moment in time, this is our priority. We are in discussions with L&G, who hold a lease on the Pavilion, for the commercial units and the plans for the Gardens themselves.

“In July this year, a lead designer will be appointed to rework the scheme. The updated plans for Piccadilly Gardens will be subject to public consultation as part of the planning application process.

“A planning application will likely be submitted around the end of this year and we are looking to consult on the revised design for the Gardens in November 2019. The Council’s ambition for the Gardens is to see the demolition of the free-standing wall and the introduction of a green living wall on the rear wall of the Pavilion and facing the bus station.”

The Gardens are owned by the council, while Legal & General have a 250-year lease on the Pavilion, which will still see some improvement work.

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Poor wall – it’s probably the only bit of the gardens design that was actually thought about and serves it’s purpose.

Can we stop pretending this location will ever make a proper gardens now? Or shall we do sticking plaster proposal after sticking plaster proposal…

And note – that does not mean I don’t think it should remain a public open space.

By Daveboi

Yeah all well and good. How long before the green wall gets vandalised. It’s the people using the gardens that’s the problem, not the gardens itself. Still full of drug dealers and general low lifes on a daily basis!

By Steve

Steve – they can’t manage looking after basic grass turfing, give it a week before a green wall becomes a muddy brown wall.

By Daveboi

I think moving the bus station would be a better option. It would improve the air quality and overall environment, reduce the overall footfall and allow for expansion of the space.

Also, the lawns should be removed, and paved. Their either a mud bowl or dust bowl, dependant on the time of year, and look awful. If people want to sit on grass (or mud covered in fag ends), they should go to the park. Piccadilly Gardens is way too busy for grass should be treated like a large open public square. Plant more trees if you want more greenery. They would look better, and be much better for the environment.

By ALL

All it needs is a few beds and policing properly. What is wrong with MCC? Get rid of this pretentious street furniture and make it into a park. It isn’t the space which is the problem but the people who congregate there.

By Elephant

You have Mancunian spiceheads one side, Somalian drug dealers on the other, bemused tourists in the middle, locals running through as quickly as possible and the pigeons feeding off the filth.

By PDM

Bit of a shame that MCC can’t maintain this area as a park as that’s exactly what the city needs.

I think more trees and lighting is the only way to keep this area looking fresh.

By Fruit Loop

1. Move the bus station and integrate with the coach station (on the coach station site)
2. Remove grass and fountain as massive maintenance issues
3. Hard paving with more trees, benches and planting beds

Do what you will with the wall, its function now redundant as bus station gone and the ‘gardens’ now 20% larger as incorporates former bus stops.

By Bradford

Without being unreasonable, the area is a disgrace. It’s neither one thing or another, but many factors like the proximity of the bus station & market street, the lack of deterrence to use the space in a fair and ‘lawful’ manner, but also the spiraling economic disparity in Manchester, the governments inability to solve it and councils inability to hide it. The wall is architecturally pretty neat but in the wrong context. Maybe Tadeo didn’t expect Manchester to be so foul.

By lcb

What Piccadilly Gardens needs is police officers.

By Ilikegreenspaces

Well I hope they choose better landscape architects then they did last time!!! Rather than looking for the big company name find a good designer!!!

By DJ

Worth MCC looking at Sheffield. They seem to do public realm very well, Peace Gardens, Leopold Square, Winter Gardens and the area opposite the train station. All beautiful, well used but well maintained. And most of all, they all feel safe and you don’t worry that your children will pick up needles.

By Derek

I’m high as a kite off other people’s smoke by the time I’ve walked from one side to the other. I have to buy a cheeseburger at Picadilly station every day because I’ve got the munchies, it’s costing me a fortune.

By Anonymous

Piccadilly Gardens is a transport hub, not a civic space. People need to get real.

By Millenial

KEEP THE WALL! We need more police.
If the city are appointing a designer it will be Ian Simpson, not good news for the city!

By an ordinary architect

The best part about Piccadilly Gardens was the stereo dancer who wore a giant unicorn head.
Even he’s gone now :(
WHAT A DUMP

By Funky Chicken

It does a good job of blocking the view of Piccadilly Gardens. It is probably Manchesters best asset. Knocking a wall down will not do Manchester any favours. It will look worse.It is a dangerous place and you have to be very street-wise to survive around there.

By Liver fella

1. Get rid of the turf
2. Get rid of that hideous over sized fountain thing
3. Get rid of the intrusive bus loop outside Morrisons
4. Get rid of clutter
5. Improve lighting
6 Pave the area with limited number of raised beds and a smaller water feature as per St Peters Square to soften and add interest

Et Voila. Invoice in post.

By Not a rocket scientist

I think the failure of the gardens is a combination of poor planning and a deterioration in social standards and behavior. As some have already mentioned, I think removal of the bus station is a must if this area is ever going to work as a successful public space (you then of course must decide where you move it to). I believe the removal of the bus station would make it more difficult for undesirable elements to congregate and would greatly improve the feel of the area. You only have to look at the contrast with St Peters square to see how this might work. Good quality artificial turf might be a solution for the grass problem…but I’m not qualified to say if this would be practical. One thing is clear, something needs to done because as it stands the gardens are an absolute disgrace and shame the city.

By Anonymous

I was born and raised just a 10 minute walk from the gardens and this area has had just as many problems if not more than the original gardens. I actually felt safer in the old gardens than I do in the current gardens. Someone else on here said about moving the bus station and extending the gardens. I’m the opposite, they should turn the whole area into a huge public transport hub which should be staffed and policed 24/7. Especially as there’s supposed to be that new park being built on disused land around Piccadilly train station.

By Anon

We are all united in our feelings that this ‘square’ is a disgrace.

Let’s not beat around the bush: It is full of foreign gangs and drug dealers who have made this space into Manchester’s foul shame.

It is all very well with all this investment coming into Manchester but we are being absolutely demolished by other cities and towns when it comes to open space and cleanliness.

Get rid of the bus station in its current form and create a regency style gardens policed 24/7. Manchester deserves better.

By Acelius

As Albert Square closes for several years this would be a good time to pave Piccadilly. Open it up so people can walk across it. Extend the market, have the MIF and the Jazz Festival here with the usual staffing. And obviously move the buses, goes without saying.

By York Street

They are an absolute disgrace. Contrast the public spaces in Sheffield city center with Piccadilly Gardens and the differences are shocking. MCC should follow the same model as that in the Peace Gardens in Sheffield. Raised grassed areas and planting beds, would eliminate the constant wear of the turf, as less people walk on it. But can still be used for people to sit when weather is good. A better quality water feature, lighting, and better quality paving.

By AlexH38

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