Updated: Monday, 6th April 2020 @ 9:57pm

Angel Meadow history under threat if 'some man from Altrincham redesigns gate'

Angel Meadow history under threat if 'some man from Altrincham redesigns gate'

| By Ben Southworth

A Manchester park’s history is in jeopardy of being lost forever under Co-op plans to redesign the entrance, according to a campaign group.

Friends of Angel Meadow are calling on Mancunians to get behind their campaign to reject a Co-op planning proposal that they believe ignores the historical story of the park and tries to use cosmetics to cover up the area's drug and crime problem.

The Co-op’s NOMA (North Manchester) initiative is proposing to redesign the entrance on Angel Street and put railings in along Aspin Lane.

However the Friends of Angel Meadow (FOAM), a local community action group founded in 2004, are angry that the plans show a blatant disregard for the historical background of the park.

FOAM’s secretary Richard Long said: “We cannot endorse a plan we fundamentally disagree with based on the idea of the park’s history, which we have been working to establish.

“We know what the Angel Street entrance looked like and it is difficult to accept that some architect from Altrincham can decide that does not matter and this works better.

“As much as FOAM are guardians of the plants and flowers in the park, we feel we are now guardians of its important history too.”

Mr Long, 43, has lived in a flat overlooking Angel Meadows for eight years and during this time has seen FOAM win a number of awards for their environmental and historical work.

And although the NOMA proposal aims to regenerate the area, he and FOAM are becoming increasingly disillusioned by a lack of communication from the developers.

“They have failed to engage with us but we are due a say and a little bit of recognition which we have not had from NOMA,” added Mr Long.

“This is a final call with the Co-op to try and sit down with us again because we all want NOMA to be a success.

“We just want to get round the table and have someone look us in the eye and say this in the best solution.”

When the group did meet with NOMA representatives, they were able to agree that it would be wrong to promote the park as a family area given the prevalent drug use within its boundaries.

The group believe it is more important for the drug and crime issues in the area to tackled first, rather than focusing on the cosmetics.

“You can build as many shiny buildings as you want but that does not necessarily give you progress,” said Mr Long.

“We need more green land that is exempt from the building; a place that people can use, enjoy and respect.

“All the problems are at the other end of the park and these must be addressed. That is proper regeneration, finishing one thing before you start the other.”

FOAM have until December 23 to lodge complaints to Manchester City Council who will decide whether or not the planning permission will be approved.

To find out more click here.

Main image courtesy of Natural England and Martin Moss, with thanks.