Piccadilly Basin AKA The Grassy Knoll
Plans to build on one of the few remaining pleasant open spaces in the Northern Quarter raised alarm amongst residents. Proposals are being drawn up to put flats on the green space on Tariff Street behind Jacksons Warehouse. It's not just about us losing a really nice place to be, concerns have also been raised about how the architecture would fit in context.
Worse still, I was alerted by residents that a massive part of the grass was dug up and mashed down without warning.
Here is the state of play as I have found out.
I have spoken to Rachel Clarke from Deloitte – I can give a contact number if you mail me - about the development and peoples' concerns.
She said that revised plans would now be submitted in May, so most likely it will be July before it comes up before the planning committee. She assured me that work was not imminent in August as some people had heard.
The grass had been dug up for exploratory work. I pointed out that it was not a “few boreholes” as she seemed to think, but a significant swathe of destruction.
I raised the issue of the grass, asking that it be replaced as clearly nothing will happen over summer now given the state of planning. I also want to press for guarantees that it will be replaced if permission is refused. She said that she will get back to me. Watch this space, I'll continue to prod.
While we are on Tariff Street, I reported violently racist graffiti on the painted area by the retail units. I won't repeat what it said, or mention the political party it was associated with. Enough to say that it is gone now.
Rubbish on Zombie Carparks
One of the worst offenders in my view of bringing Ancoats down is SIP parking, bringer of the “zombie” carpark. Private companies are responsible for what happens on their land. There is a never ending amount of crap on their facilities. Before now I have managed to get abandoned syringes removed from their carparks - but in my experience is they are the slowest to act.
I'm on to them to sort it, and I am going to be taking up with the British Parking Association (yes, there is such a thing) who is the body for the car parking trade.