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Sunday, 25 February

Half the World Away from More Footie Towers

A development funded by multi-millionaire ex-footballers Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville, including two massive office/hotel/domestic towers, would harm Manchester city’s historic core says Historic England which objected to the development plans in their advice to Manchester City Council on February 16.

The players' representatives had submitted plans last week.

 

Dire, dull and disappointing

Giggs and Neville are already behind major developments in the city. Although the footballing pair have described their plans as 'one of the biggest statements in architecture in modern times in Manchester', their designs are actually about as inspiring as Manchester United under the Giggs/Louis van Gaal partnership - dire, dull and disappointing.

Historic England (HE) says the design, height and colour of the development on Jackson’s Row would dominate the Deansgate/Peter Street conservation area and dwarf the Grade II listed Central Library and Grade I listed Town Hall.

HE also claims 3D modelling carried out by the developers as part of the planning application shows how aggressively the proposed buildings would jar against the civic buildings of this part of Manchester.

 

National treasure

The development would also involve the demolition of the Abercromby - a pub said to have inspired that featured in the TV series Life on Mars. (Gene Hunt (a City fan) would almost certainly have wanted to have taken down anything Giggs and Nevilee said, ripped it up and shoved down their scrawny little throats for threatening such a national treasure.)

Catherine Dewar, Historic England Planning Director in the North West said: “We are deeply concerned about how this scheme would affect some of Manchester’s most precious heritage. It would have an impact on people’s appreciation and experience of the stunning town hall and library but it would also erase different layers of this area’s history, irreparably damaging the special character of the surrounding conservation area.”

She continued: “A dynamic city like ours needs to fully embrace development but this scheme is not good enough to justify the damage it would cause to the streets around the site and to the setting of the city’s most important buildings and spaces. It threatens Manchester with the loss of historic places that have soul and tell important stories about our city’s past.

"Historic England has worked constructively with Manchester City Council and the developers over the past year and we know this site has potential. The right scheme here could create a better environment for those who live and work in Manchester and could bring life back to these streets."

Picture: Historic England don't want Giggs & Nevilles's dreams

 

3D modelling carried out by the developers as part of the planning application shows how it would look 

Article written by Brian Shillibeer

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