Trafford pulls Turn Moss plans

In his first day in office, leader of Trafford Council Cllr Andrew Western has withdrawn controversial plans to build a football training ground and new facilities on Turn Moss in Stretford, pledging to open a “community-led consultation” on the area instead.

Announcing the move via Twitter, Labour leader Western, who replaced Conservative Cllr Sean Anstee as council leader following this month’s local elections, said he had advised the council’s head of planning that Trafford “formally withdraws the planning application at Turn Moss”.

The move was met with jubilation by campaigners who have argued against the plans since they were first mooted by Anstee and Trafford’s Conservative leadership, alongside the scheme’s partner, Gary Neville’s UA92, last year.

Prior to the local elections, the Labour, Liberal Democrat, and Green parties all reiterated their opposition to the project. Local groups, including the Save Turn Moss campaign, argued the proposals were “clearly in contravention” of policies including the National Planning Policy Framework and green belt policy.

However, Anstee also took to social media to defend his role in the project. Posting on Twitter, Anstee said it had been “a privilege” to work with Gary Neville on the scheme and added: “It’s a shame some created a highly politicised angry environment to the complete detriment of today’s young people”.

Gary Neville also claimed on social media that campaigners had subjected the development’s supporters to “harassment and bullying”.

The planning application would have seen UA92 and the council build a training ground for Salford City FC, including four training pitches, an office, and a gym converted from an existing storage facility.

There were also proposals for a new floodlit pitch for public use alongside a café, children’s play area, and changing facilities.

The plans had proved controversial with the initial consultation being extended by around a month following a deluge of opposition. Campaigners have claimed the scheme was the most objected-to planning application in Trafford’s history, after it attracted around 1,800 letters of objection.

The works were estimated to cost the council around £2.5m, up from an initial estimate of £1.5m.

Friends of Turn Moss committee member Nixon Tod welcomed the statement from Western and said: “We believe it’s the correct decision to withdraw the flawed plans. The drainage strategy would have been a disaster for the grassroots teams, it’s a real victory for local people.

“There is funding out there to improve Turn Moss for everyone, better facilities for the footballers is a priority, it needs to stay green belt and free for all to use.”

In another social media post, Western also said he had written to Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham to “advised that Trafford’s Labour administration will never support housebuilding on Flixton’s green belt”, and requested that the area “be removed from the next phase of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework”.

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Amazing that the ‘Friends of Turn Moss’ have identified funding to improve Turn Moss without UA92, well done. I look forward to those plans being brought forward and implemented forthwith.

By FurFoxAche

This has been a really interesting story to follow. All in all i do feel as though there was a great opportunity in the plans put forward. However, the negativity surrounding them blew way out of proportion any minor harm the scheme might have caused. Out of the ashes if there is community funding for new facilities in the area and a new scheme comes forward that would be a win-win from a public perspective. The turn moss plans can move elsewhere and hopefully improve another failing community facility and a new facility still gets provided at turn moss. Win Win.

By Not Elephant

Oil Beef Hooked! This is good news!

By Russell Bolton

A very flawed consultation came back to bite them

By Cheggers

Always sad to see LAs behave like complete amateurs, you’d think that some of the advice they are happy to dish out to others would have rubbed off. But there again it’s not their money.

By Tannoy

About time someone stood up to Gary Neville and his continued attempts to railroad the planning process.

By BDay

I don’t think it’s LAs behaving like dinosoars, rather the villagers wielding pitchforks who’ve used to democratic part of the planning process to force the result they wanted, however non-sensical it may be.

By Flaming torch

What Cheggers said.

Neville needs to eat humble pie, sack his entire advisory team and learn some lessons in *proper* community engagement.

By MancLad

Great news, Turn Moss for Community activities. There was so much at risk regarding the submitted flawed plans. Now we have a chance to work together with Friends of Turn Moss and Trafford Council for the benefit of locals.

By Anne Russell

The only people who ever spoke in positive terms about the plans were those who never looked at the actual plans and just swallowed the Tories’ and Neville’s propaganda. The plans were bloody awful in so many ways, and there was never intended to be any benefit to local teams or other users of Turn Moss. The campaign should go down in history – the first people to say no to Gary Neville. And win.

By Anonymous

Fantastic news!
A great success for everyone who fought to keep Turn Moss the wonderful resource it is, for wildlife and people alike!
Now we’ll all have to stay vigilant and make sure it stays that way!

By Clive Morgan

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