The Planning and Highways Committee of Manchester City Council has decided to visit the site of a proposed new 792 space temporary car park at Manchester Airport (which it owns 35.5 per cent of). This morning a member of the committee, Councillor Jill Lovecy (Labour, Rusholme), asked for the Committee to visit the site before deciding whether to approve or reject the application. This proposal was quickly seconded by Cllr Jon-Connor Lyons (Labour, Piccadilly), with the other councillors on the committee either rapidly or grudgingly giving their assent. There were no votes opposing, and no abstentions.
That visit will take place on the morning of Thursday 13th February, with the Planning committee meeting the same afternoon, at 2pm, in the Town Hall Annexe. The meeting will be open to the public, bu it is a ‘meeting in public, not a public meeting’ – that is there is no right of the public to speak. It is in the hands of the Chair of the committee (Cllr Basil Curley, Labour, Charlestown), and traditionally he has allowed one speaker in favour and one against.
Councillor Lovecy told the Committee that the reason for her request was that she thought
“there are considerable issues raised by the fact that this was originally designated for the type of development that would bring jobs. It is now being altered- even if only on a temporary basis- to something quite different. So I think there are issues here about green-ness and our priorities as a planning body for this whole area that really we should consider through a site visit. I think that would be very helpful.”
(transcribed from webcast footage, from 3 mins 11)
Climate Emergency Manchester’s representative, Dr Marc Hudson, had been given permission to speak against the planning application, but did not do so, as the item was deferred. Aside one CEM supporter, no other members of the public were in attendance at the time for this item. That will surely be different on Thursday February 13th.