Build it and they will come! Manchester City Council wants to build yet another car park… !

18th August 2019
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Hot on the heels of the news that Manchester City Council wants to turn Great Ancoats Street into a ‘European-style’ boulevard – but without the European-style cycle infrastructure – comes the news that Manchester City Council want to turn the derelict Central Retail Park into a temporary (5-years plus) 440 space car park.

The site is 10.5 acres, around half the size of Whitworth Park. Local residents argue that the car park will increase the number of cars moving in and out onto the already busy Great Ancoats Street.

More private car journeys will increase air pollution and Greater Manchester already has the highest rates of emergency admissions to hospital for asthma in the whole country – Central Manchester and North Manchester NHS trusts have emergency admissions at double the national average.

Evidence shows that the most vulnerable people and those living in disadvantaged areas are at greater risk from air pollution.

Sign the petition – Manchester City Council Manchester – Build a Green, Community Space, not a CAR PARK

The planning application is due to go before Manchester City Council Planning Committee on 22nd August and Trees not Cars.com and Northern Quarter Forum are holding a We don’t want a car park! event on Saturday 17th August to show the Council how many people object to the Car Park and that we WANT Green Space. [UPDATE: Application now scheduled for Planning Committee on 19th September – so you still have to sign the PETITION and send in an objection]

Manchester Friends of the Earth have submitted an objection to the planning application. See below for the outline of our objection letter. The full response is available (PDF)

Traffic congestion on Great Ancoats Street

Dear Manchester City Council planning department,

Please see below for the Manchester Friends of the Earth response to the planning application for the use of Central Retail Park, Great Ancoats Street as a temporary car park.

Our response is arranged in four key sections, namely that the planning application:


1) fails to meet key Transport Policy objectives in the Manchester Core Strategy.
2) will increase the number of car parking spaces which will encourage more people to travel by car to this area of the City Centre contrary to Manchester City Council sustainable transport policies.
3) is likely to increase private car traffic which would contribute to increased air pollution
4) is contrary to the actions required to radically reduce climate change emissions from the transport sector.

Manchester Friends of the Earth believe that this planning application is contrary to the stated Manchester City Council transport, environmental, Core Strategy and climate policies.

We would therefore request that the Planning & Highways Committee members should exercise their powers and refuse this planning application.
We thank you for your attention on this matter.

Friends of the Earth have commissioned a series of research papers on the transport policies that are needed to cut carbon emissions in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The papers will focus on emissions from cars in urban areas, as this is where significant and rapid carbon savings can be made, while improving quality of life for the 80% of people living in towns and cities.

See ‘The transport policies needed to cut carbon emissions in the UK’.