Manctopia: reality TV in a journalism jumper

The series trailer and episode lead-ins for the BBC documentary Manctopia are suggestive of a series seeking to analyse the inequalities associated with Manchester’s “property boom”.

Instead, this glossy reality TV entrenches a misguided message that uncontrolled investor-driven urban development is the only possible trajectory. Its winners vs losers framing negatively impacts those communities experiencing the pressures of gentrification on a daily basis.

Northern Quarter residents and councillors speak after Thomas Street weavers cottages are saved from demolition

A controversial proposal to demolish a row of listed 18th century weaver cottages in the heart of Manchester’s Northern Quarter was struck down in the Planning Committee meeting last week. With the survival of the buildings for now secured, how do the victorious campaigners and councillors want this local heritage to be restored and used? […]

Salford Middlewood Locks looking to avoid planning contributions for third time

Huge Chinese and Singapore Salford development has avoided £8.3 million in fees so far.

The 25 acre Middlewood Locks development should have yielded £8.3million in planning fees to Salford City Council but in its first two phases didn’t pay a cent because of ‘viability’ issues.

Next week, the Council’s Planning Panel will consider proposals for the third phase of 189 residential units plus commercial space, and the company has submitted a further ‘viability’ report which could lead to no payments yet again – despite the previous planning report stating that “The Council’s surveyors are confident that future residential phases will make a S106 contribution”…

Government overhaul of planning system ‘absolute sham’ says Manchester councillor

Councillors, researchers and campaigners are united in their criticism of new government plans that will see planning powers taken away from local authorities. The government’s plans to overhaul the planning system in England has been met with fierce criticism from politicians, researchers, and campaigners in Manchester. While Boris Johnson says the changes will make it […]

No affordable housing in four high rise developments, with 4,755 bed spaces, being decided on by reinstated Planning Committee

Manchester City Council’s full Planning Committee returns and four huge developments are on the table. Co-living towers, some of which breach national guidelines on livable space and two 51 storey skyscrapers with no affordable housing, are to be decided on. Manchester City Council’s Planning Committee sits again on 30 July tasked with signing off on […]