This is the continuing struggle of the council in what seems to be a concerted effort to use the green space they have stewardship for on the behalf of Manchester residents.
And to me stewardship doesn’t mean taking what belongs to me and then giving it back to me smaller than when I originally gave it to you.
It seems as though the council may be thinking of all the business rates they can get in from the complex, rather than the green lung that Heaton Park has always been for Manchester residents.
The council agreed to let flats be built within the Heaton Park perimeter a few years ago. OK there was already a building there, but it was low rise – not several floors to spoil the view. And recently of course there was a strong pressure to move King David’s school to the park.
Now the sports complex.
Is it any wonder that the Manchester residents, me included, really think that the council aren’t interested in maintaining the Heaton Park green space for current and future residents of Manchester?
Do you really believe that the sports complex is the only development that is going to be allowed in the park? What happens if it becomes successful? More football pitches, more parking, more food outlets needed?
What about future planning applications? They’ll have even more of a precedent to allow development to continue in Heaton Park. Does this mean Heaton Park would no longer be the largest municipal park in Europe? What then, it becomes the largest park in the UK? Further development and it becomes the largest park in North Manchester? All because the council was too short-sighted to see the future.
And why build the development on Heaton Park anyway?
There are massive numbers of brown field sites that could be used to put sport complexes on. May I suggest that the Manchester Town Hall Planning Committee seriously consider the importance of the park to the Blackley, Cheetham Hill, Crumpsall, Moston, Middleton, Prestwich and Whitefield communities and to all Manchester residents who currently come over for concerts and events and for just simply taking a lovely walk somewhere that seems to be outside Manchester while still being in reach.
If you want to make your voice heard email your councillors (see www.writetothem.com to find your Manchester councillor) and let them know your feelings.
If you can get out of work for a while there’s a meeting in front of Manchester Town Hall at 1:30pm and people are going to go into the planning meeting with a spokesman to put the pro-Heaton Park voice forward.