Construction of a controversial soccer centre in Heaton Park has been delayed after Liberal Democrat Councillors “called in“ proposals to sell off land in the park.
A planning application was heard earlier this year by Manchester City Council who own Heaton Park. All Labour Councillors voted in favour of the plans to concrete over a corner of the park and open a pay-to-play five-a-side soccer centre. All Lib Dems voted against, citing community concerns over noise, traffic, and the destruction of green space. The application was successful, and on December 7th Manchester City Council agreed to lease the land to Goals Soccer Centre to commence construction.
Now though, the continuing community protests, including a 10,000 signature petition, have led to Lib Dems “calling in” that decision for further scrutiny.
The call-in means at least a temporary delay to the project, forcing the Council to look again at community objections.
Bury Lib Dem Leader Cllr Tim Pickstone said today “I am pleased that our Lib Dem colleagues in Manchester have ‘called in’ this decision. Local Councillors in Holyrood and Sedgley, such as Steve Wright and Ann Garner have been at the forefront of efforts to look again at this decision.”
“Given that thousands of residents objected to these plans originally, a complaint has been made to the Local Government Ombudsman that the Council have not followed due process. Six issues have arisen through this consultation process that have not previously been addressed, so we felt that further scrutiny was necessary.”
Cllr Pickstone continued
“I am pleased that Manchester City Council will be forced to look again at these proposals which local people have objected to since the start. We continue to fight to save Heaton Park.”