TOWERS CAUSE CONCERN

What utter rot? A few decent sized buildings in an old centre for industrial revolution and the Luddites come screaming out of the woodwork!

CITY planners have been urged to act before Manchester becomes overrun with new skyscrapers.

Many of Manchester Civic Society’s 500 members have expressed concern at the rising number of tall buildings that are being built or planned for the city centre.

Earlier this month plans were unveiled for the 617ft tall Eastgate Manchester building next to Piccadilly station, making it the fifth tall building either planned or being built in the city.

The civic society wants a rigid “tall buildings policy” which would dictate where such developments are sited. They fear that without such a plan the “floodgates will open” and the city will become swamped with skyscrapers.

Accountant Richard Harvey, chairman of the society, is planning a meeting of leading local architects in the new year where a policy will be drawn up and presented to the council.

He said: “We have got nothing against tall buildings, just as long as they are in the right place.

“Visually it can look awful, we want the city council to think about where they want them to go. Our concern is general, not specific.”

He said that concerns centred on the fact that badly designed buildings could create wind tunnels once they are built.

“Look at the tax office on Bridge Street. You get a blowing gale there and you can see people not being able to stand up. Before the building was built there was not enough study on that.

Policy

“You get tall buildings which can house thousands of people, but the pavements are not up to it.”

Despite his concerns, he does believe there is a place for some tall buildings in Manchester. He said: “The Beetham (Hilton) Tower was approved and we approved of that decision.”

The council’s head of planning Peter Babb said that although the council do not have specific policy on where in the city tall buildings can or cannot be built, they do conform to guidelines laid down by English Heritage and Cabe (Commision for Architecture and the Built Environment).

He said: “I think what some people say is that you should have a policy that says `you can build there, but not here’. I think that is very difficult in a city centre like Manchester, which is very compact.”

He said that many things, including whether or not there are listed buildings nearby, are taken into consideration before planning applications are recommended to committee for approval.

Work has already begun on the 47-storey, 515ft tall Hilton Tower on Deansgate; the GN Tower by George Wimpey City on Peter Street, which will be 23 storeys and 236ft high; and the 16-storey, 279ft Royal Courts of Justice in the Spinningfields complex off Deansgate.

There are also plans for Britain’s tallest residential tower on the Greengate site just over the river border in Salford, which at 60 storeys and 660ft would just beat the Eastgate tower.

Is anyone else sick these idiots who opose everything!? Manchester is what it is because of landmark buildings. ‘Albert Bridge’ rubbish. Does this happen on ‘none-windy days’. Jokers.
Dan, Moston
15/07/2005 at 04:02

I have waited 50 years, for manchester to be rebuilt, from the bomb site’s of the last war and industrial decline. YES YES we want more skyscapers, we need the city to be renewed. Many times when returning from trips abroad, I have felt ashamed of the ugly mess of the old victorian mills. Yes please build more and higher. Phil (Antique Collector and lover of Old and New buildings)
philip heaton, warrington
19/04/2005 at 20:24

Skyscrapers create a sense of prestige in a city, and help to make the place look exciting and forward thinking. These qualities in turn bring investment into the city, which raises prosperity and leads to yet more new developments. And so the cycle goes on. Stifling development because of a few old fuddy-duddies who don’t like change is not the way forward.
Michael, Hulme, Manchester
11/04/2005 at 18:50

I feel that these building can only contribute to the city in a positive way. Why should London be the only city in the UK to have iconic, modern structures? Giving Manchester some of the UK’s tallest and awe-inspiring buildings will help reflect (and further highlight) Manchester’s modern and statuesque character as a leading city – both domestically and internationally. Manchester is trying to be the best it can be and if building these structures help the city achieve this then so be it. London has never stopped building or expanding and Manchester needs to do the same thing.
Daniel, Bolton, Manchester
29/12/2004 at 15:34

Ive commented before what happens when we build/design anti-social architecture, the problems it produces are well documented, we are still suffering the effects of the 1960’s high rise disasters. Look at all the classic city’s throughout Europe, they dont create a claustrophobic/imposing atmostphere, where residents (no matter where they stand) are unable to avoid viewing the glass characterless monstrosaties. There is architecture that stands the test of time and is ‘social’ and non imposing, what is proposed is far from that, it must be stopped NOW, while we still have the chance.
Andy, Wythenshawe
28/12/2004 at 11:55

I think we need more skyscrapers not less. I think they should build tall buildings from castlefield down the canal and river irwell. Following the metrolink to salford quays and calling it skyscraper alley
neil, sale, manchester
27/12/2004 at 15:50

Concerns ?? concerns of what , we are not the first city in the world to have a few towers, this is an exciting time for manchester, lets just welcome this investment in our city, there is obviously a lot of demand in Manchester for these apartments and offices,these buildings will put Manchester on the next level in world recognition, look at any big city in the world they all have skyscrapers, please stop moaning and be glad that they are being built here and not London, Get them built i say,and watch the city flourish
Dave, Denton,Manchester
27/12/2004 at 15:08

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