Friday, November 16, 2012

Show of opposition at Planning and Highways Committee meeting - Thursday 22nd November 2012

Thursday 22nd November 2012
Meet at 1.30pm, outside Manchester Town Hall, Albert Square (under the large Santa Claus), M60 2LA

Please join us at Manchester City Council’s Highways and Planning Committee meeting next Thursday, for a show of opposition against the latest expansion plans at Manchester Airport.

In this meeting the final decision will be made on the application for a ‘World Logistics Hub’, which would involve the construction of 43 warehouses and almost 1,500 car parking spaces on 90 acres of former greenbelt land.

Click here for more information on the World Logistics Hub application

We will gather at 1.30pm outside Manchester Town Hall. The meeting will begin at 2pm, in the Banqueting Room, Level 2, Town Hall. 

More information on the meeting and the application is available on the Manchester City Council website. 

You can still submit a letter of objection up to the day of the Committee. You should quote the planning application number 100263/OO/2012/S2.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Save Sunbank! Wildlife Walk

On Saturday 3rd November around 100 local residents and campaigners took part in a protest walk against the proposed World Logistics Hub at Manchester Airport. The protesters braved the cold to take a route around the 90 acre former greenbelt site, which is threatened by the plans to build 43 cargo sheds and almost 1,500 car parking spaces.

Local residents, wildlife enthusiasts and environmental campaigners spoke at various points along the walk, sharing their experiences of fighting Manchester Airport expansion and highlighting the numerous ways that the plans would affect local people and the environment.

The Wildlife Walk came the week after the Wythenshawe Area Committee‘recommended for approval’ the World Logistics Hub plans, on the 25th October.  The application will now be sent to the Planning and Highways Committee at Manchester City Council for a final decision on 22nd November 2012. A number of attendees at the Wildlife Walk, keen for their concerns to be brought to this Committee, pledged to attend this November meeting at Manchester Town Hall.

Several Councillors of the Wythenshawe Area Committee backed the Logistics Hub plans based on the Airport's promises of local job opportunities. However campaigners argue that job creation figures proposed by the Airport are inflated.

Jane Beetson from 'Stop Expansion at Manchester Airport' campaign  said “When Manchester Airport first announced plans for a second runway, they claimed 50,000 jobs would be created.  No-where near that number of jobs materialised.  Just like then, they are misleading the public now.”

She added, “Local Councillors say they will force the Airport to give jobs to local people but in practice they will have no way of enforcing this on the firms that move into the new office and warehouse spaces.  We need to create green jobs in sustainable industries not dirty aviation.” 

The Wildlife Walk was also an opportunity for wildlife experts to explain that Airport's promises of preserving wildlife are also unrealistic, and that creating a 'mitigation zone' is no substitution for leaving habitats untouched.

Along the route, campaigners encountered the threatened habitats of numerous plant and animal species. Several mature oak trees line Sunbank Lane, providing nesting opportunities for rare birds, and potential roosting spots for endangered bat species. The site is also home to 12 ponds occupied by Great Crested Newts, an endangered species found only in the North West of England. Walkers were also able to spot signs of protected animals for example badger snuffle holes and mole hills in the green space around Sunbank.

Manchester Mule coverage here.

Manchester Evening News coverage here.