(An edited version of this story appeared in the Manchester Evening News on Tuesday 24th April 2012)
City centre Labour councillor Kevin Peel and local campaigner Joan Davies have written to the developers of Origin in the city centre to demand a meeting following the submission of an application to the city’s planning authority to extend the deadline to develop the site.
The development – a 17 storey hotel, residential and office complex – located on the corner of Princess Street and Whitworth Street in the village area of the city centre stalled in 2008 when developer West Properties went bust, leaving the site derelict ever since. The original planning permission has now expired, leading to this request for an extension.
City centre resident and campaigner Joan Davies said:
” Whatever your thoughts on the original plans, nobody can argue that the outcome, which residents have had to endure for almost 5 years, is anything but horrendous. It’s fairly normal for planning applications to be extended when there have been unavoidable delays, but for this site I would encourage going back to the drawing board. The city and its residents deserve bold and beautiful; they also deserve achievable, which the current scheme clearly is not.”
Labour councillor for the city centre Kevin Peel said:
“I’ve had numerous complaints from residents about the state of the site since the development was abandoned several years ago. We had the cranes removed and the hoardings pushed back, but it continues to be an eyesore.
“Joan and I have called a meeting with the developers to demand that the site is cleaned up, secure a timetable for its development and ask them to look again at their original proposals.”