Do you object to the proposals for a glazed link between Manchester Town Hall Extension and Central Library?

Library Walk – Plans for Glazed Link

If you object to the plans by Manchester City Council to build a glazed link between the Grade II* listed Manchester Town Hall Extension and the Grade II* Central Reference Library, and to erect a gate at the Lloyd Street end of Library Walk in Manchester, we encourage you to make your views known about the proposals in the following ways:

  1. Make your comments on the Manchester City Council Planning Portal
  2. Lobby the City Councilor of your own ward and of the City Centre
  3. Raise your concerns with the Urban Design and Conservation Team at MCC
  4. Raise your concerns with English Heritage

Planning reference number 099352/VO/2012/C1

Neighbour Consultation Expiry Date: 12 Jun 2012

The plans and MCC’s case is presented here – http://www.publicaccess.manchester.gov.uk/associateddocs/Default1.aspx?099352-shs-0001.pdf

An article on Manchester Confidential can be seen here

Here’s how…

1. First and foremost make a comment via the Manchester City Council planning portal. 

Click on the ‘Make a Public Comment button – n.b. you will have to Register and Log In before you can make your comment.

http://pa.manchester.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=externalDocuments&keyVal=M40NFJBC6K000

Make your own comment about what you object to but stick to planning issues – and refer back to the actual plans themselves (not to any hearsay)

Things you might consider are:

- that any structure put into that space will compromise the integrity of the two Grade II* listed buildings (E.V. Harris’s Town Hall Extension of 1938 and his Central Library of 1934 – Grade II* buildings are particularly important buildings of more than special interest; only 5.5% of listed buildings are Grade II*”) . Pevsner in ‘The Buildings of England’ says the Town Hall Extension is Vincent Harris’s best building. It will have a negative impact on both buildings and also have a detrimental impact on the Conservation Area in which the buildings sit.

- loss of an historical, well-known and much appreciated streetscape – the sight lines, revealing The Friends Meeting House at one end and the Cenotaph at the other are “glorious and not accidental”. These views, along with the clear view to the upper stories and the sky would be spoiled. The shape and space provided are highly unusual and attractive (it is one of the most photographed vistas in Manchester and for good reason!)

- that the link is unnecessary as there are plans to provide more than adequate linkage under the ground floor levels of each building.

- the space between the two buildings is not accidental and, contrary to the ‘historical statement’ attached to the application, are a considered piece of urban planning and clearly part of the original designs by Harris. The statement is incorrect in this matter and references to “dead windswept space” are simply not accurate.

- also contrary to what the statement claims -

- the wider concern regarding the privatisation and of public space and the blocking up of a public right of way. Is it right or necessary to block off this public walkway? What is a genuine and valid reason to take otherwise public space out of the public domain?

  • Be clear and concise
  • Stick to planning issues
  • Avoid ranting

2. Lobby the City Councilor of your own ward and the City Centre

You might also ask for the Councilors’ own opinions on this plan – request some response and some action.

All city councilors e-mail addresses can be found here:

http://www.manchester.gov.uk/councillors/ward

The Central ward Councilors are:

cllr.e.boyes@manchester.gov.uk, cllr.j.davies@manchester.gov.uk, cllr.k.peel@manchester.gov.uk,

3. Raise your concerns with the Urban Design and Conservation Team at MCC

Write to the Urban Design and Conservation Team at MCC – headed by Paul Mason and the head of Planning, Julie Roscoe at:

p.mason@manchester.gov.uk, j.roscoe@manchester.gov.uk

5.Raise your concerns with English Heritage at:

northwest@english-heritage.org.uk

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