Manch­ester res­i­dents op­pose Gary Neville’s devel­op­ment plans

The Guardian - - NATIONAL - Josh Hal­l­i­day

Gary Neville’s plans to trans­form Manch­ester have again been met with op­po­si­tion after hun­dreds of res­i­dents ob­jected to pro­pos­als by Manch­ester United’s “class of 92” to build a new sports univer­sity near Old Traf­ford sta­dium.

Neville un­veiled the blue­print for Univer­sity Academy 92, or UA92, in Septem­ber with the aim of teach­ing stu­dents life skills as well as tra­di­tional cour­ses.

The open­ing of the in­sti­tu­tion, which is backed by Lan­caster Univer­sity and Traf­ford coun­cil, was planned for Septem­ber 2019, but the pro­pos­als ap­pear to have run into dif­fi­culty. Hun­dreds of res­i­dents said they ob­jected to the takeover of green belt land and the dis­rup­tion to lo­cal wildlife.

It is not the first time that Neville, a for­mer Eng­land foot­baller turned TV pun­dit, hote­lier and prop­erty de­vel­oper, has re­ceived crit­i­cism over his plans to trans­form Manch­ester.

He had to re­sub­mit plans last sum­mer to build a £200m com­plex of lux­ury apart­ments, ho­tels, of­fices and restau­rants in the city cen­tre after the scheme was de­scribed as a “plan­ning dis­as­ter of a mag­ni­tude not seen in decades”.

Neville’s lat­est idea in­cludes de­signs for three turf foot­ball pitches, a cafe and a chang­ing room on pub­lic land in Turn Moss he says is dis­used be­cause it is prone to flood­ing.

Hun­dreds of peo­ple have joined a Face­book page op­posed to the plans, man­aged by the lo­cal res­i­dents’ group Friends of Turn Moss. Nixon Tod, a spokesman for the group, said there was dis­quiet in the com­mu­nity over the pro­pos­als.

“One of our wor­ries is there has been no at­tempt to re­ally prop­erly en­gage with lo­cal res­i­dents,” he told the Manch­ester Evening News. “It isn’t a nimby thing, it in­cludes lo­cal foot­ballers and pro­fes­sional dog walk­ers, as well as the gen­eral pub­lic, and wor­ries about wildlife.

“Maybe what’s most wor­ry­ing is that it’s green belt land that’s part of a flood plain. They should se­ri­ously pause this, stop and lis­ten to every­one that uses the area. You could ar­gue that the land will be brought back to use, but it used to be used and only fell out of use be­cause the coun­cil didn’t main­tain it.”

Neville said: “I’m pas­sion­ate about col­lab­o­rat­ing with Traf­ford coun­cil to de­liver excellent re­sources at Turn Moss that will be of great ben­e­fit for the lo­cal com­mu­nity. Sal­ford City FC’s com­mu­nity team will en­gage with lo­cal peo­ple to get them en­joy­ing play­ing foot­ball, along with other sports that can help im­prove their health and well­be­ing.”

Gary Neville wants to build three foot­ball pitches on green belt land

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.