Anyone familiar with current thinking on the future of planning will be
aware of the growing opposition to the government’s proposed changes to
The National Trust, Campaign to Protect Rural England, World Wildlife
Fund and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds – hardly a group
of ‘leftie’ militants – to mention a few, have joined the chorus of
disapproval for the National Planning Policy Framework which threatens
our greenfield sites with large-scale developments.
Now, Prince William has joined the campaign, to safeguard our playing
fields, parks and woodland, beseeching us to defend them or risk
losing them forever. “Green spaces” he says ” are the beating heart of
any community. Whether you live in a dense city or the middle of the
countryside, fields provide a safe place for true sport, for talent to
be nurtured, confidence to be built and for children and teenagers to
let off steam.”
Why then does the Labour-run Manchester city council persist in its
enthusiastic support for building a football stadium on a greenfield
site in Moston ?
If they have £750,000 to spare – their financial commitment to the
development – could they not spend it on restoring the Ronald Johnson
Playing Field to its former glory with football, cricket, bowling and
tennis facilities rather than creating a stadium for a semi-
professional football club the majority of whose players and fans do
not even live in Moston ?
Manchester city council are not so much out of step with current
thinking, they are galloping wantonly in the opposite direction. And
guess what their party colleague, the shadow environment secretary, Mary
Creagh, recently had to say on the subject :”Government policy should
be amended so that it reinstates, as a requirement, that brownfield
sites are developed ahead of greenfield sites.”
That’s Labour policy – stick to it!
Manchester Evening News, October 21st, 2011