Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Red Card for Student Village at Neville Uni

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Red Card for Student Village at Neville Uni

Article excerpt

ANGRY Stretford residents have launched a petition against plans to build a student village for Gary Neville's new university.

Trafford council's proposals - contained in the town hall's masterplan for the area - would see 1,700 new apartments built on Lacy Street car park, including a 20-storey block, as well as a new 'student hub' in the empty Essoldo cinema building.

They fit alongside plans for Neville's new university campus UA92, on Talbot Road, which were unveiled last week.

Images of the student village proposals have sparked outrage on the Facebook group Stretford M32, although some residents expressed support for the scheme, arguing it would help rejuvenate the area.

A petition launched by Stretford resident Heather Garlick calls on the community to oppose it.

More than 700 people have so far signed up to the petition, which says: "As a community we vote 'no.' .' We feel the incumbent population will completely unbalance the amazing diversity we enjoy in Stretford and mean that all future commerce is geared towards a very distinct set of needs that don't reflect the rest of the population.

"We worry that the roads and services will be overloaded and will not be sufficiently improved to accommodate the increase in users. We worry that the houses in the local area will become student housing.

"But most of all we feel that the student village will destroy the tight and active community feel that Stretford currently enjoys."

Reactions to the plans on Facebook were mixed, ranging from those who believe it will ruin the area, to others who feel Stretford is long overdue extra investment.

Several people questioned the height of the block.

The plans would see the whole of the Lacy Street car park taken up with student apartments, including the 20-storey block, plus a cafe and shops at ground floor level.

Trafford council says it will also open up the front of the Bridgewater Canal into a public square.

It intends to use a compulsory purchase order (CPO) to acquire the old Essoldo building for a student hub - raising concerns from residents that it won't be of wider benefit to the community.

Stretford and Urmston MP Kate Green says people in the area are right to seek more detail, particularly on the scale of the development. …

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