Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

We're Not Excited by Latest City Tower Plan

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

We're Not Excited by Latest City Tower Plan

Article excerpt

VIEWPOINTS Write to: Viewpoints, M.E.N, Mitchell Henry House, Hollinwood Avenue, Oldham, OL9 8EF Or email: viewpoints@men-news.co.uk

NEWS in Friday's M.E.N. that Gary Neville has unveiled a new 'honeycomb tower' smacks of sweet-talking opposition to his empire-building. Even more alarming is the report that it will have a 'more dynamic expression' and 'stronger engagement with adjoining streets'. But it will be only a couple of metres shorter than the originally proposed towers and has been rotated to a different angle.

Is it me or do others think he just doesn't get it that a lot of us are sick to death of 'exciting apartment developments' and the homogenization of our city - both in terms of a new boring architecture and population? Favoured architects replace varied buildings of previous centuries with short-lifespan glass Legoland that could be in any urban setting. And mixed communities are replaced with a mono-culture of urban rich without children, forever eating out or limited to expensive food by the lack of shops selling basics.

Last week I went to hear Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham speaking in the Methodist Central Hall. It was an event put on by a Christian group called Mosaic. It was entitled: 'Street Stories - Politics and People Power.' He spoke of his concern to give community groups support in leading the battle against rough-sleeping and homelessness - a blight often discussed in these columns. His vision of regional partnerships and all putting their shoulders to the wheel so we show the rest of the country what can be done was inspiring and deserves our support.

However, it won't work if big players continue to push elite developments past planning committees. They need to only pass genuinely mixed projects that contain a full mix of amenities for healthy communities.

Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs acted to show concern a couple of years ago allowing homeless people to stay in one of their properties. They are a new sort of Mancunian entrepreneur city father. …

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