Friday, November 30, 2007

EXCLUSIVE-ish: Marie Louise Gardens Sale Blocked

This Press Release has come as a bit of a surprise. I believed that having drawn up heads of terms to sell a 20 metre by 19 metre piece of former maintenance depot and granted Full Planning Permission for a family home, partly built on that land, the Council were unlikely to change their mind.

The campaign to "Save the Gardens" was I felt deeply misleading. Opposition councillors - including the dog kicker - have been weasels.

The immediately local residents - Holme Road Residents - and the Didsbury Civic Society appear to have been over-ruled by other groups.

How will much needed refurbishment of the gardens now be financed?

And how on earth have the Council broken this news to the owner of the Lodge who has been wrestling rather heroically to make the best of a Thatcher Right-to-buy legacy with a high quality and sensitive proposal - even naming the houses after Marie Louise's two family names?

They have broken the news to him haven't they?

Manchester City Council

News Release

November 30 2007

Land in Marie Louise Gardens not to be sold

Manchester City Council has taken a decision not to sell any land in Marie Louise Gardens in Didsbury.

The owner of the lodge in Marie Louise Gardens wanted to develop another dwelling next to his existing property. However, after much consideration, Manchester City Council’s Chief Executive, Sir Howard Bernstein has ruled that the land will not be sold.

The decision was not taken lightly, but after considering the history of the gardens and the public opposition to the sale, the Chief Executive believes it is in the best interests of the community not to sell.

Manchester City Council places great importance on the views of local people. It has listened carefully to the representations made about the sale of this public asset. The Silkenstadt family originally bequeathed Marie Louise Gardens to the Council about 100 years ago.

The City Council had to sell the lodge in 1996 under the right to buy scheme and the current owner bought the property in 1998. He wished to buy the land adjacent to his property, but it was felt not to be in the public interest.

Sir Howard Bernstein said: “We have listened very carefully to the residents and other community groups, the majority of which are strongly opposed to this.

“We value our parks and open spaces and this shows in the fact that Manchester has more award-winning parks than any other authority in the country. We will ensure that this land is accessible to all users of the park.”

UPDATE: For the avoidance of doubt the exclusive/blogsclusive elements of this story are (a) revealling that the man who tells war stories about being a dog kicker (blogs passim) is a councillor (b) revealling the naming strategy for the houses (c) suggesting that the Council told the press before the owner of the Lodge and land. In fact I told him at about 5pm yesterday. No comment at this stage from that direction.

It also differs from the MSM coverage by stating the size of the piece of land in question, pointing out that the campaign was peristently disingenuous, and even in the accuracy of the description of the proposed structure which the MSM have referred to as "flats" as an "18-room house" and so on.

I didn't know at the time as Google didn't tell me but David Ottewell had the story on his blog two hours before the date stamp on the press release I've seen. As David says fur may fly on this one.


Anonymous said...

Excuse my confusion.
But how can an exclusive be based on a press release?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

And Miranda Grell's appeal has failed.

She's a homophobic shit.

A comment, please.

An apology, followed by a condemnation, is what the doctor orders.

Chris Paul said...

Miles: You are an idiot and worse. But Mr Ottewell did have the blogsclusive for the story in general it must be said.

Two hours before the date stamp on the press release in fact.

The Council had NOT told the landowner and the campaign has been diingenuous in the extreme. Neither of these are covered elsewhere.

More important I have now revealled that the man who told me a jolly story (blog passim) about kicking a greyhound into a Loch when I attended a protest at this very Garden ... is a councillor.

Anonymous said...

Here we have for your perusal an intellectual gerbil called Chris Paul.

Now, here we go: What's the score on Miranda Grell?

Chris Paul said...

In time dear doctor anonymous eunoch sock puppet you, in time.

lorenzo23 said...

I welcome Mr.H.B announcement. There is always development for new flats for middle class tossers who ruin Cornwall, Lake district and Manchester. Let's have some neglected garden in a city so the dogs can run free.

Miles Barter said...

My understanding is that two Labour politicians will claim credit for this tomorrow (Mon)
They've even had their pictures taken in the gardens.So then bro your obssessive loyalty will be put to the tet.

susan press said...

Chris, either a story is exclusive or it's not.
I remember Marie Louise Gardens well. Used to go there loads.....I'm delighted this campaign has succeded and the City Council was absolutely right.Mystified why you should take a different tack.

Chris Paul said...

Actually Susan I am completely relaxed about the result of this review process. Nice to keep it as it is. But wouldn't have been so bad - hence support from Civic and the real local residents' group.

But the Council did give the guy the thumbs up to sell him the last bit of land (in writing), did give him FPP and arguably have given him the run around and cost him a lot of money in design costs, waiting and so on. They should buy the lodge back off him at a premium to reflect his costs including opportunity cost and reclaim the lot.

The park is a wreck and does need some heavy investment. the piece of land is very small. I am not automatically opposed to "enabling developments" and think this one would have been OK.

But as I say I'm relaxed about the result just a bit annoyed at the lying and cheating in the campaign. That stretched to at least 25 points of disinformation and omission. And quite a number of my friends signed the petition ... one of them SIX TIMES!!!!!!

On the "Exclusive" tag, it was a bit ironic which Miles never seems to understand. But there is some value added.

Chris Paul said...

Lorenzo: Dogs have to stay strictly on leads in these gardens. This is something which I observe. But local people tell me that some of the middle class tossers who roll up in 4x4s to this famous acre not only let (a) their pampered mutts off the lead and (b) encourage them to muller squirrels (which they can't do 'cos their soft middle class dogs) but (c) also don't pick up after them (and there are no dog bins).

Chris Paul said...

And finally ... Miles Bro ... I know all about the photo shoot. Even what colour coat Sister J was wearing. (Red, natch).

Sockpuppet: I don't blog to order and I'm busy but despite your harrassment you may want to come back and moan about this.