Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Manchester Council announce their Climate Change 'Call-to-Action'

Manchester City Council announced their 'Call to Action' on climate change last Wednesday 14th January. This stated plans are to reduce the City's emissions by one third by 2020.

"Great!" we thought, surely if the Council owns 55% of Manchester Airport Group (MAG - which also owns Nottingham East Midlands, Humberside and Bournemouth – and are considering buying Gatwick) then surely this 'Call to Action' would have to curtail the Airport's ambitions by 2030?

Alas no. The Council simply washed their hands of this issue. Council Chair, Sir Richard Leese replied that they can't legally constrain the Airport and that if the planes didn't fly out from Manchester then it would probably be from somewhere else, causing more pollution.

Following this logic, extending the airport is the only sensible way to stop more CO2 emissions. Intriguingly two of MAG's directors, Brian Harrison and lord Peter Smith are also Manchester Councillors.

The Council Executive stuck by their plans for a 'Green Airport'. This involves the continued support for the Airport's growth whilst helping it to achieve its aim of becoming carbon neutral. Unfortunately this carbon neutrality will not include the emissions from the planes. Finding credibility in the Manchester's climate change plans is like attempting to nail jelly to a wall -the harder you try, the more it falls apart.

This article is based on a blog from Manchester Climate Fortnightly.


Also see: Manchester Evening News coverage


Rose Cottage decision postponed

Rose Cottage decision postponed

The decision to delay the Rose Cottage decision has been delayed for the following reason.

The information English Heritage (EH) wanted off the Airport's agents, White Young Green (WYG), has not been sent over.

WYG were supposed to supply EH with either plans that incorporate Rose Cottage within the development (which they have resisted) OR information over WHY they cannot incorporate Rose Cottage within the development.

It's very important that WYG gets this right due to PPG15 - the most important bits being:

"...The Secretaries of State would not expect listed building consent to be granted for demolition unless the authority is satisfied that real efforts have been made without success to continue the present use or to find compatible alternative uses for the building...

...There may very exceptionally be cases where the proposed works would bring substantial benefits for the community which have to be weighed against the arguments in favour of preservation. Even here, it will often be feasible to incorporate listed buildings within new development, and this option should be carefully considered: the challenge presented by retaining listed buildings can be a stimulus to imaginative new design to accommodate them..."

What this delay means

The Airport (or in this case, their agents' WYG), are NOT sympathetic to their suggested compromise, and they left with the opinion that they would simply get reasons why the compromise could not be reached. They said if that's the case, they would continue to oppose the plans.

If WYG are writing up the reasons why they can't compromise, then they have to make sure they are very good reasons, as stated above: unless the authorityis satisfied that real efforts have been made without success to continue the present use or to find compatible alternative uses for the building...

And those are the key words: "REAL EFFORTS". If WYG don't demonstrate that they have put in enough "REAL EFFORT" to incorporate, and we can demonstrate this at the hearing, then under PPG15 they should (in theory) refuse.

If on the other hand, this delay is because WYG can't find feasible reasons why they can't incorporate Rose Cottage into the design, then they may be re-designing the thing, and this is why it's delayed. If this is the case then it may be more than a few weeks delayed as it would require a substantial effort to re-draw the plans and possibly re-consult the statutory bodies (Police, GMPTE, etc).

You can voice your objection to the demolition of Rose Cottage by following the steps below:

Go to: http://www.publicaccess.manchester.gov.uk/publicaccess/tdc/tdc_home.aspx

The application can be found through application search as


Click on: 'click to view' and then submit your comments


Monday, January 26, 2009

The Northern Climate Rush

The Northern Climate Rush -


Monday 12th January 2009

Terminal 3, Manchester Airport.

For VIDEO footage see


Around 50 climate change activists gathered in Terminal 3 of Manchester Airport last night to protest against airport expansion and domestic flights. The demo mirrored the Climate Rush ‘Dinner at Departures’ protest at Heathrow’s Terminal 1 at the same time.

There are around 32 flights a day between Manchester and the London hubs, despite the high speed rail connection.

The protests at Manchester and Heathrow airports was a follow up to the first http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/london/2008/10/410761.html">Climate Rush on October 13th 2008. This date marked the centenary of the Suffragettes’ rush on Parliament to demand women's right to vote.

The protesters dressed in Edwardian period arrived to find Terminal 3 locked down with around 70 police officers, including Forward Intelligence Teams from the Metropolitan police. They were read parts of the Riot Act before entering a ‘designated protest area’.

Former Manchester City Councillor, Vanessa Hall, who attended the Northern Climate Rush said:

“ With the speed of intercity trains there is no longer any just or sensible reason to take domestic flights. All expansion plans, including those at Manchester and Heathrow should be shelved. Passenger numbers at Manchester Airport have been falling for at least the last 6 months.”

She added, “In a time of recession and climate crisis, government money should be spent on improvements to rail, trams, and buses, not on subsidies and infrastructure for the aviation industry.”

Aviation accounts for 13% of UK global warming emissions and is the fastest-growing source of greenhouse gases. Airlines pay no tax on aviation fuel, costing the public purse an estimated £10 billion.

Manchester Airport claims it intends to go carbon neutral by 2015 - but this will not include the emissions from the aeroplanes.

Other press coverage




Thursday, January 15, 2009

Next Meeting

NEXT MEETING - Wednesday 28th January 2009


University of Manchester Students' Union

Oxford Road - M13 9PR

All welcome.

SEMA meetings are on the last Wednesday of every month at 7pm - provisionally at the University of Manchester Students' Union.

Contact: info@stopmanchesterairport.org.uk