The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Friends of Library Walk, Manchester

North West

Save Manchester’s Library Walk

Manchester library walkAidan and the Manchester Modernists have alerted us to a last chance to save Library Walk from the proposed glazed link which will block off one of the most powerful and characteristic public spaces in Manchester.

There is now a very real chance of a public inquiry and review of the project, so we urge you to help protect this beautiful public space by writing a letter (it has to be a letter, I’m afraid), by 28 February. There are further details on the Friends of Library Walk website – don’t delay, write today!

From Morag Rose of Friends of Library Walk:

A Stopping Up Order has been issued to close Library Walk. If a number of objections are received then an inquiry must be launched by The Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. This is an opportunity to review the whole scheme and our experienced legal team are confident we have a very strong case to present at inquiry.

If you write a letter to oppose the Stopping Up Order we can halt work and trigger an inquiry. Your letter does not have to be long but every letter will count and will help us. The deadline is tight – we have until February 28th to act – and we have been advised that letters should be individual. Here is a guide to what you could say:

You need to be polite, concise and logical and make it clear you object to the stopping up order. You do not have to live in Manchester to have your voice heard. NB this is a different legal process to the planning application so any previous correspondence is not counted here, but you can of course, cut and paste from anything else you have written. I’m writing a letter on behalf of The Friends of Library Walk and am happy to send you a copy if you want to see it.

You must include your name, address and the reference L/NJM/EVD5001/1080. State that you oppose The CITY OF MANCHESTER LIBRARY WALK FOOTPATH, MANCHESTER CITY CENTRE PUBLIC PATH STOPPING UP ORDER 2014 and include your reason(s) for doing so.

Reasons to object can include:

1) Public Interest

Library Walk is a place of significant architectural merit, between 2 grade II* buildings in two conservation areas and has been an integral part of the city centre topography for over 80 years. Library Walk has an important function increasing the permeability of St Peters Square (which will become more popular as a result of the redevelopment). Improved access, vibrant streets and aspirations to be a 24-hour city have been key aims of recent Manchester Council policy and stopping up Library Walk conflicts with these. Library Walk is a useful and well-loved route for residents which has inspired artists and attracts tourists. Of course these are not the only reasons closure is not in the public interest so feel free to include your own.

2) Closure of Public Space

Manchester Council are seeking closure of a public space and there is a fundamental objection to this. The limited opening times can be changed in the future as once a right of way has been extinguished, it will not be public anymore and there is no power to object to variations. Incidentally the proposed opening hours are shorter than Metrolink opening hours and security should not be a consideration under The Town and Country Planning Act

3) Legal Process

We believe Manchester City Council have been acting illegally as no temporary stopping up order was granted prior to commencing work leaving them open to prosecution. The Council should be setting an example and following the law.

Please send letters to: Liz Treacy, City Solicitor, PO Box 532, Town Hall, Manchester, M60 2LA quoting reference L/NJM/EVD5001/1080

The deadline for receipt of letters is FRIDAY 28TH FEBRUARY so please act promptly. Also let The Friends of Library Walk know you have responded so we can provide evidence of widespread public support. We are working with organisations including manchester modernist society, The Open Spaces Society, The Greater Manchester Pedestrian Association and The Ramblers Association and thank you all so much for your support.

If you need any more information please contact me directly on 07974929589 or by email Background information can be found on the Friends of Library Walk website.

Thanks again, and please forward this to anyone who may be interested – remember every letter can make a difference.

Best wishes

Morag Rose, Friends of Library Walk