Monday, 17 February 2014
Please Write a Letter to help Save Library Walk
Some of you may recall the fight for Library Walk, one of the most precious places in Manchester (oh! those sensuous curves!) being nothing if not tenacious the fight ain't over and we have a very real chance of a public inquiry and review of the project.
Please help protect public space and a beautiful place by writing a letter.
A Stopping Up Order has been issued to close Library Walk, if a number of objections are received then an inquiry must be launched by The Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. This is an opportunity to review the whole scheme and our experienced legal team are confident we have a very strong case to present at inquiry.
If you write a letter to oppose the Stopping Up Order we can halt work and trigger an inquiry. Your letter does not have to be long but every letter will count and will help us. The deadline is tight – we have until February 28th to act – and we have been advised against writing a pro forma as letters should be individual but here is a guide to what you could say.
You need to be polite, concise and logical and make it clear you object to the stopping up order. You do not have to live in Manchester to have your voice heard. NB this is a different legal process to the planning application so any previous correspondence is not counted here, but you can of course, cut and paste from anything else you have written. I’m writing a letter on behalf of The Friends of Library Walk and am happy to send you a copy if you want to see.
YOU MUST INCLUDE your name, address and the reference L/NJM/EVD5001/1080. State that you oppose The CITY OF MANCHESTER LIBRARY WALK FOOTPATH, MANCHESTER CITY CENTRE PUBLIC PATH STOPPING UP ORDER 2014 and include your reason(s) for doing so
Reasons to object can include
1) Public Interest
Library Walk is a place of significant architectural merit, between 2 grade II* buildings in two conservation areas and has been an integral part of the city centre topography for over 80 years. Library Walk has an important function increasing the permeability of St Peters Square (which will become more popular as a result of the redevelopment). Improved access, vibrant streets and aspirations to be a 24-hour city have been key aims of recent Manchester Council policy and stopping up Library Walk conflicts with these. Library Walk is a useful and well-loved route for residents which has inspired artists and attracts tourists. Of course these are not the only reasons closure is not in the public interest so feel free to include your own.
2) Closure of Public Space
Manchester Council are seeking closure of a public space and there is a fundamental objection to this. The limited opening times can be changed in the future as once a right of way has been extinguished, it will not be public anymore and there is no power to object to variations. Incidentally the proposed opening hours are shorter than Metrolink opening hours and security should not be a consideration under The Town and Country Planning Act
3) Legal Process
We believe Manchester City Council have been acting illegally as no temporary stopping up order was granted prior to commencing work leaving them open to prosecution, The Council should be setting an example and following the law.
LETTERS MUST BE SENT TO Liz Treacy, City Solicitor, PO Box 532, Town Hall, Manchester, M60 2LA quoting reference L/NJM/EVD5001/1080
The deadline for receipt of letters is FRIDAY 28TH FEBRUARY so please act promptly. Also let The Friends of Library Walk know you have responded so we can provide evidence of widespread public support. We are working with organisations including manchester modernist society, The Open Spaces Society, The Greater Manchester Pedestrian Association and The Ramblers Association and thank you all so much for your support.
If you need any more information please contact me directly on 07974929589 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org I’ve also got a stash of stamps and envelopes if you need them. Background information can be found at http://friendsoflibrarywalk.wordpress.com/
Thanks again, and please forward this to anyone who may be interested - remember every letter can make a difference.
Friends of Library Walk