Feel free to object to this poorly planned and consulted application, you pay your council tax:

The planning officer: m.tann@manchester.gov.uk

Dear Ms Tann

I wish to object to this application by Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) which I believe first and foremost to be detrimental to the residents of Platt Fields Park and surrounds and their environment. I have copied in our MP and local councillors as I believe the community of Moss Side Ward must have a say and scrutiny of this application.

This application is by a large and well funded university that reaps the benefit of Fallowfield and Platt Fields for the accommodation of its students. Manchester Metropolitan University is creating this facility for its own students as far as I can make out not the residents of Fallowfield/Platt Lane/Moss Side. The purpose according to project manager Mike Howarth’s Linkedin profile is “improving the Student Experience” and has absolutely no benefit to the non-student residents of Platt Fields.

I am myself a local landlord and have known this area since 1991 around the Platt Lane Complex. I would point out the whole environ of this area as extending over the whole of the Platt Fields Park area with its churches, lake, well laid out grounds and sporting amenities. There is also the group Friends of Platt Fields Park who voluntarily maintain the grounds of Platt Fields Park as a nature haven. Platt Fields with its history and fine civic amenity complements the residences abutting the park and indeed fosters an important sense of community in the area.

One can argue that the Article Four directive of Manchester City Council is being reversed by this application. The residents of the area do not want it turned into a giant hall of residence by the creation of an “open all hours” sports complex. Total “Studentification“.  This plan will harm all the private residents who to my knowledge will have scant benefit from the new facilities. What we will end up with is an overused flood lit hard court facility with noise of balls and shouts of players for 13 hours a day Monday to Friday, 10 hours at weekends. The pitch in question is incredibly close to the houses on Platt Lane whose master bedrooms at the front will bear the brunt of the noise and lighting disturbance from the complex. One may add that no one will want to buy houses there and we will see the road turned into a long student hall of residence. This is at odds with any relevant local plan and will also harm the natural life in Platt Fields Park which is an essential part of its community value with its light and noise. See the Biodiversity Report for Platt Fields: http://www.plattfields.org/biodiversityreport/PlattFieldsMainReport_compressedimages.pdf

The work of the Friends of Platt Fields Park is set out in the publication “A Centenary Celebration of Platt Fields Park“(2010). The park went downhill in the 1980s and was basically trashed from a picturesque civic amenity into a grassy dustbin. Insensitive proposals such as Man Met’s threaten to return us to that stage of decline. We have lived with Manchester City FC for years in terms of their training ground in a spirit of mutual respect (even when they had Maine Road nearby). Man Met’s vast resources should enable it to find such facilities elsewhere. We all know that Man Met do not want the trouble of upkeep of the existing grass pitch which respects its place within the Park’s environs. I do not see why they should inflict a nasty environmentally unfriendly artificial pitch upon us when surely there are plenty of resources in a large sports facility. As a keen footballer myself I know that so called artificial grass has a dreadful echoing effect as it is on a hard base. I cannot find any technical information as to the surface being installed in the application. In short the local residents such as Rusholme & Fallowfield Civic Society, Platt Claremont Residents Association and the Friends of Platt Fields have issues with this application. People abutting the park have a right to their days and nights in relative peace when studying for exams or working from home or just enjoying their privacy. The road is busy enough already.

In 1999 a Parliamentary Select Committee (Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs) visited Platt Fields Park as part of a nationwide initiative to revive urban parks as local green spaces for residents to discourage the view that one has to travel out of town to enjoy a natural space. To my mind this application has the overtone of the Turn Moss proposals by Gary Neville et al where again a quiet, natural space can be turned into a source of constant noise and lighting nuisance. This was explicitly rejected by Trafford voters at the last election. I reckon residents of Platt Fields and voters of Moss Side will take the same view.

I attach extracts from the centenary book which make clear the history and aim of planning with regards to Platt Fields. The aim of the Park Management Plan is to create a natural eco system which a noisy, over-lit planning blight can do nothing but harm. It is time to say the Platt Lane Complex has enough facilities and should not infringe further on a well loved green belt space. We have enough disruption with the various events staged in the park for the benefit of local communities.

I have copied in Man Met’s Community team as it seems that they have foisted this application on the residents of Platt Lane and Yew Tree Road. A loud, echoing all weather surface being used 13 hours a day five days a week, 10 hours a day at weekend by students. Erm, where is the community benefit in this? If you are putting in a 3G pitch it is commonly known that these are carcinogenic, environmental disasters that will have to be ripped up again anyway. Put this artificial surface in and you have more or less wrecked a grassy area and the peace and quiet of every resident of Platt Lane and Yew Tree Road facing the complex. Minimal consultation surely makes a laughing stock of the local plan, local residents and the Platt Fields Park amenity. This pitch will provide disturbance morning, noon and night on residents of an area shared between students and private residents. Suffice it to say Manchester Metropolitan University would not inflict this nuisance proposal on a more affluent area. This application has been made during a summer holiday surely to avoid too much attention. A vision of the future: cars parked all over, a 24/7 noisy sports facility inflicted with no regard for its surroundings.

Thanks Man Met for trampling all over the people who live and work in this town. Your students do not pay council tax but local residents do: we deserve to be treated with respect and consulted on such matters.

Regards
Kieran
[Objection with full name submitted to MCC.]