Save Manchester's historic heart and support our legal action

by Steve Speakman, Chairman, Manchester Civic Society

Save Manchester's historic heart and support our legal action

by Steve Speakman, Chairman, Manchester Civic Society
Steve Speakman, Chairman, Manchester Civic Society
Chairman, Manchester Civic Society
9
days to go
£10,125
pledged of £12,000 stretch target by 208 people
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Steve Speakman, Chairman, Manchester Civic Society
Chairman, Manchester Civic Society
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This case is raising funds for its stretch target. Your pledge will be collected within the next 24-48 hours (and it only takes two minutes to pledge!)

Latest: Sept. 25, 2018

Thank you and Update!

Steve Speakman’s legal challenge to the proposed 40 story tower in Manchester’s historic heart has been rejected by a High Court judge; the judge denied Steve Speakman permission to pro...

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Save Manchester's historic heart and support our legal action

Steve Speakman is taking action to challenge the highly controversial decision to allow a 40 storey tower planned for the city's historic heart. The plans, given permission by Manchester City Council, will see this massive development dominate the Grade I listed Town Hall and Albert Memorial. This very sensitive site is within 250m of 72 listed buildings and 9 Conservation Areas. 

The money is for legal advice to explore whether or not the decision to grant planning permission by the Council was reached lawfully, and if so to bring a challenge, which could also make the developers re-think their plans.

Please help us raise £6,000. This will allow us to engage one of the best heritage solicitors in the country to look closely at the case and see if we have grounds for a legal challenge. 

Manchester Civic Society, SAVE Britain’s Heritage, the Victorian Society, Twentieth Century Society and Historic England have all raised serious concerns about the impact of this scheme on Manchester's fantastic historic city centre. 

Please give as much as you can, to help us fight back against these damaging and irreversible plans.


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Update 3

Steve Speakman, Chairman, Manchester Civic Society

Sept. 25, 2018

Thank you and Update!

Steve Speakman’s legal challenge to the proposed 40 story tower in Manchester’s historic heart has been rejected by a High Court judge; the judge denied Steve Speakman permission to proceed and ordered him to pay £5,000 in costs.

Thank you to everyone who supported the campaign so far. Steve Speakman is now raising funds to cover these costs.  Please help him meet this target.

The challenge was the last chance to reverse the planning decision after Government ministers refused to hold a public inquiry into the strongly contested proposals.  Steve believes that they respect neither the sensitivity of the site, nor national guidelines on the protection of heritage assets.  The development has drawn widespread criticism for the overbearing impact that the 40-storey tower would have on the network of conservation areas in which it sits and the 72 listed buildings within 250m of it.  These include Manchester’s Town Hall, its Albert Memorial and St Ann’s Church, all Grade I Listed.

Known as St Michael’s, the scheme is promoted by Jackson’s Row Developments Limited led by former Manchester United players Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville. Manchester City Council also has a land interest in the scheme.

Once ministers chose not to act, Manchester City Council granted planning consent, on 20 June 2018.

Update 2

Steve Speakman, Chairman, Manchester Civic Society

Aug. 3, 2018

Second round of crowdfunding - further £10,000 now needed

Thank you to everyone who helped Steve Speakman reach the initial fundraising target for his campaign of taking legal action against the planning permission granted for a 40 storey tower in Manchester's historic heart.

Supporters from across the country contributed through CrowdJustice to enable Steve Speakman, chairman of Manchester Civic Society, to obtain legal advice on the case, from Harrison Grant Solicitors and Richard Harwood QC.

We now start a second round of crowdfunding to meet the additional costs of seeking a judicial review of how the decision was arrived at.  Costs for this next stage are estimated at a further £10,000.  Pledges can be made at the same website

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/save-manchesters-historic-heart/

On 31 July, judicial review papers were served on Manchester City Council.  Their grant of planning permission, finalised in June 2018, will see a massive development, whose 40 storey tower will dominate the Grade I listed Town Hall and Albert Memorial.  The bulky 11 storey plinth will also deeply harm the setting of what will be left on the site after demolition.

This very sensitive site is inside Manchester’s historic core of 9 Conservation Areas.  It is within 250m of 72 listed buildings, many of which have been graded within the nation’s top 10% by Historic England.  For many, their settings will be compromised.

For these reasons, Manchester Civic Society objected to this scheme.  So did the Victorian Society,the Twentieth Century Society and Save Britain’s Heritage.  Historic England stated that they are 'unable to support the application...due to the cumulative harm that would be caused to highly graded listed buildings'.

Civic Voice - the national charity for the civic and conservation movement –has voiced deep concern that this decision undermines the protection granted nationwide for all conservation areas.  Civic Voice also supports Steve Speakman’s initiative in challenging this decision.

Legal action is the last resort here, because the Secretary of State declined to call in the scheme for a public inquiry, although the heritage organisations, and Manchester Civic Society, asked for this.  He gave no reason for his refusal.

The grounds for a challenge are likely to go before a judge in September who will consider whether to grant permission for a judicial review of the council's decision. If permission to proceed is granted, the judicial review is likely to be heard within the next six months.

Steve Speakman, Chairman of Manchester Civic Society says, “This permission to cause such significant harm to Mancunians’ heritage goes beyond the local tragedy, severe as it is.  The granting of this permission challenges the validity of national protections for all of our conservation areas and listed buildings, making it a national, as well as a local issue.  I believe that this onslaught on planning policy needs to be halted, by rescinding the planning approval”.

Thank you again for your support for Steve.  Please continue it and please spread the word among as many as possible, so that Steve can meet his revised target.

Update 1

Steve Speakman, Chairman, Manchester Civic Society

July 31, 2018

Save Manchester's historic heart and support our legal action

30th July: Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the initial fundraising campaign for legal action against the 40 storey tower planned for Manchester's historic heart.

We reached the pledge target! This money is for legal advice to explore whether or not the decision to grant planning permission by the Council was reached lawfully, and if so to bring a challenge, which could also make the developers re-think their plans.

The solicitors are now looking closely at the case to see if there are grounds for a challenge - and I will update you on this very soon.

 The plans, given planning permission by Manchester City Council in June 2018, will see this massive development overshadow the Grade I listed Town Hall and Albert Memorial. This very sensitive site is within 250m of 72 listed buildings and 9 Conservation Areas.

 Thanks again for your support - more updates coming soon.

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