Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Alarm Bells Ringing Louder over Future of Landmark ; COMMENT

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Alarm Bells Ringing Louder over Future of Landmark ; COMMENT

Article excerpt

IT is disappointing news that cash-strapped Manchester council will be landed with all the legal costs of its failed attempt to rescue one of Manchester's architectural gems, the London Road fire station.

Only six weeks after the M.E.N. reported that the council was drawing up a formal offer to buy the increasingly dilapidated building, the future of 'Manchester's biggest eyesore' is back up in the air and taxpayers in the city are out of pocket to the tune of Pounds 1.5m.

The grade II listed building has been empty for more than 25 years and was placed on English Heritage's at risk register over a decade ago. But still Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has sided with current owners Britannia Hotels over the council's reportedly unsolicited bid to buy the building via a compulsory purchase order.

Manchester council firmly believes that the sprawling Edwardian fire station has stunted development in the Piccadilly area. The site is the first thing that visitors see as they leave Piccadilly Station and severely run down premises are unlikely to make visitors or investors fall in love with the city at first sight. …

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