Save Hough End fields
Manchester City Council has unveiled plans to build over large areas of the playing fields at Hough End, on the border of Chorlton and Withington.
The planning application submitted last month contains proposals to build:
- 2 new astroturf pitches near the Leisure Centre, with fencing and floodlighting
- 2 softball/baseball pitches, covering most of the area between Mauldeth Road West and Red Lion Brook, with concrete dugouts and fences up to 9 metres high
- an additional 167 car parking spaces
This is totally unacceptable development of a precious, widely used and well-loved open space for everyone from dog walkers to picnickers and sports players to nature lovers.
There are lots of reasons why this proposal should be rejected:
– It goes against the covenant under which Hough End was given to the people of Manchester, which required that it should be kept as an open space and recreational ground for the free use of the public and not for other purposes;
– It eats away at more of our green, open space. Hough End is a unique, multi-purpose space. We should protect it and allow everyone to access and enjoy it, rather than fence off areas;
– Fences up to 9 metres high will have a serious visual impact, and are totally out of keeping with the character of the open space.
– The new car parking spaces will lead to further noise, traffic congestion and air pollution on Princess Road, which is a designated Air Quality Management Area;
– This proposal risks impacting wildlife such as Pipistrelle bats, hedgehogs, starlings, and in spring and summer, swifts, swallows and other migrating birds. At least 23 existing trees will be removed.
– This proposal will lead to an increase in carbon emissions as it creates 167 additional car parking spaces which will encourage car use, despite the site being well served by public transport.
– Water run-off, including microplastics from the astroturf, will go into Red Lion Brook, which flows into Chorlton Brook. This will impact water quality as well as increasing flood risk for residents downstream.
– Fencing off areas for specific purposes will discriminate against people who cannot afford to pay, or who are not able to take part in the specific sports proposed.
– This proposal is inconsistent with a number of policies in Manchester’s Local Plan, as well as its Biodiversity Action Plan and Climate Change Framework.
Please send in your objection to the planning application by Monday 17th May.
How do I send in my objection?
You can send in your objection directly via the council’s planning portal, or by using this handy online action. You can also send in objections by email or by post, quoting planning application 129948/VO/2021 – be sure to include your name and postal address.
How do I get more involved?
For the latest info (including leaflets and posters) and to get involved in the campaign, join the Save Hough End Fields group on Facebook.
You can also sign and share this Change.org petition – this helps show the level of public opposition but doesn’t carry any weight in the planning process, so please prioritise encouranging people to send in planning objections.