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Stop plans to build a 184 space car park on Hough End!

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Objection to Planning Application 108260/FO/2015/S1: Extension of existing car park to create a total of 184 parking spaces for use as a Park and Ride facility for the Christie Hospital, including the erection of a security cabin and waiting facility for passengers, along with associated floodlighting, fencing and security barrier.

Hough End is an area of recreation and nature. People from a diverse range of communities enjoy the fields, including football and rugby players, users of the green gym, people taking other forms of exercise, dog walkers and people who appreciate the quietness and nature. It is also a valuable habitat for many species and an important wildlife corridor.

We object to the application for a car park on land at Hough End for the following reasons:

Inappropriate use of land

Hough End was originally given to Manchester City Council by Lord Egerton under a covenant “not to use or permit to be used this area for any purpose other than as an open space and recreational ground for the free use of the public”. Building a private car park for an employer based two miles away breaches this covenant.

Safeguarding open space

Extant UDP Policy CB11 states that “the Council will retain the open character of Hough End Playing Fields as a major recreational facility and seek to improve the visual appearance of the site”. Construction of a car park, security cabin and waiting facility on part of this site and fencing it off clearly contradicts this policy.

Core Strategy Policy EN10 states that “the Council will seek to retain and improve existing open spaces, sport and recreation facilities”. This application clearly contradicts this policy. In addition, the Policy states that proposals on existing open spaces will only be permitted where: equivalent or better replacement space is provided, or; the site has been demonstrated to be surplus to requirements, or; the development will be ancillary to the open space and complement the use of character. None of these conditions have been met in this case.

Core Strategy Policy EN12 states that the priority for open space, sport and recreation in the South area of the City are to “enhance the quality of existing provision and using opportunities to address deficiencies”. This proposal clearly contradicts this policy.

Green infrastructure

Core Strategy Policy EN9 states that “new development will be expected to maintain existing green infrastructure in terms of its quantity, quality and multiple function”. This proposal clearly contradicts this policy. In addition, the applicant has not demonstrated any mitigation measures for the loss of this existing element of green infrastructure should permission be granted.

Traffic

This new car park will encourage further traffic on Mauldeth Road West and adjoining roads such as Barlow Moor Road and Princess Road, which are already heavily congested at peak times.

Noise & vibration

Local residents and wildlife will suffer from the impact of increased noise and vibration as a result of the additional traffic movement, particularly in the early hours of the morning.

Air quality

This will also increase air pollution in the Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) along the Princess Road corridor, contradicting Core Strategy Policy EN16, which states that “the Council will seek to improve the air quality within Manchester, and particularly within AQMAs, located along Manchester's principal traffic routes”.

Climate change

This proposal will lead to an increase in carbon emissions, as many staff will have to travel further to get to Hough End compared to their current journeys, and the shuttle service alone will emit up to 50 tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum (depending on the fuel efficiency of the vehicle used, based on 90 journeys of 3km per day). This contradicts Manchester's climate change plan, Manchester: A Certain Future, which has a target to reduce the city's emissions by 41% by 2020 (on 2005 levels), and the Climate Change Act 2008, which puts a legal duty on the Government to cut emissions by 80% by 2050.

Wildlife

Extant UDP Policy CB2 states “the Council will protect and enhance the existing wildlife habitat at Hough End Clough”, and Core Strategy Policy EN17 states that “development should avoid any adverse impact on water quality and minimise surface water run-off”. There is a risk that this proposal could damage this habitat through additional traffic movements and air pollution, and that tarmacing over previously permeable open land will result in water run-off that could cause surface pollution to enter the Clough.

Modal shift

Core Strategy Policy T1 has the objective to encourage a modal shift away from car travel to public transport, cycling and walking. This proposal contradicts this objective by providing car parking spaces and a shuttle service which will support and potentially encourage continued car use.

Travel Plan

The applicant's Green Travel Plan 2014-2030 states that Manchester City Council have recommended that Park and Ride facilities be situated near a Metrolink station. Hough End is a considerable distance from the nearest Metrolink stations at St Werburgh's Road and Withington.

Alternatives

This application says nothing of the alternatives that have been considered, either in relation to other car parking or park and ride sites, or for encouraging modal shift given the site is served by high frequency public bus services and is only half a mile from the West Didsbury Metrolink station.

We therefore call on the Council to refuse this application.

Friends of Hough End



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