Manchester Council loses landmark legal battle over car park plans

Manchester Council has lost a landmark legal battle over a decision to grant itself permission for a new car park right next to a primary school.

Plans to build a nearly-500-space car park right next to a school in Manchester were approved back in November 2019 despite fierce opposition from the Liberal Democrats.

The decision to ignore appeals for an inner-city green space on the former site of the Ancoats Retail Park came just weeks after Lib Dems forced the Labour council to declare a climate emergency.

The 10-acre site was purchased by the Council for £37million.

In the last three months, Manchester Council have approved construction on a four-acre site at New Islington Green, and on the last remaining green space in Castlefield, known as Plot G (next to The Wharf). 

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Manchester, Councillor Richard Kilpatrick said:

"Labour know they've got this completely wrong. Air quality in Manchester is dangerously high and there is a striking lack of green space in the city centre.

"But Manchester Council has insisted on wasting time, effort and millions of taxpayer's money on their polluting pet project.

"Building another car park and inviting thousands of extra cars into the already polluted area is an utterly ignorant move from Labour. It has rightly frustrated local residents and parents whose children attend the nearby school.

"But this is nothing new: Labour have always put profit ahead of people in Manchester. Only the Liberal Democrats are taking this climate emergency seriously and will always put local people and the planet ahead of deals like this."

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for the City Centre and Candidate for Deansgate John Bridges said:

"The Labour Council just hasn't listened to the thousands of city centre residents who signed the original 2019 petition calling for the publicly owned former retail park to be a community green space. That message is loud and clear. Our growing city centre community needs more green parks not more car parks!

"To spend large sums of council taxpayers' money on building a polluting car park next to a primary school whilst citing a lack of funds for other important projects shows up the hypocrisy in Manchester Labour's approach to addressing the climate emergency. 

"It's time for our Council to start working with the community, and for the planning system to start properly listening to them. It's not too late to put this public land to the best use possible!"

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