Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville's plans for Manchester would 'erase heritage'
Ex-footballers Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs’s £200m plans to redevelop part of central Manchester would “erase” part of its history, campaigners say.
Historic England says the scheme, which includes a five-star hotel, flats, offices and restaurants, threatens the city’s “precious heritage”.
The Sir Ralph Abercromby pub and Bootle Street’s former police station would go as part of the Jackson’s Row project.
The Manchester United legends say the development would transform the area.
Nobody from the developers was available for comment.
Neville and Giggs recently submitted the plans, for the St Michael’s development near Manchester Town Hall, to Manchester City Council.
Catherine Dewar, Historic England’s planning director in the North West, said she was “deeply concerned” about the development.
“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 said.
“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.”
She added it “threatened Manchester” with the loss of buildings “that have soul and tell important stories about our city’s past”.
Giggs and Neville recently submitted the plans to Manchester City Council.
Last week Neville said the project, which would also see a synagogue rebuilt, would be “one of the biggest statements in architecture in modern times in Manchester”.
Hundreds of people have signed a petition against the plans.
Neville and Giggs were involved in the development of Hotel Football, near their former club’s Old Trafford stadium.
They are also turning the former Manchester Stock Exchange into a luxury hotel.
Before renovation work started earlier this year, they allowed homeless people to stay in the building.
Source: BBC – UK News