Updated: Tuesday, 10th December 2019 @ 8:56am

Christie cancer research centre provokes dispute over Withington green

Christie cancer research centre provokes dispute over Withington green

By Lauren Maughan

A proposed cancer research centre is throwing Withington into dispute, as many residents are campaigning to save their green from the plans.   

The centre, expected to cost £20million, will house 150 researchers.  

A 760 space multi storey car park and building for Manchester Cancer Research Centre (MCRC) which is hoped will attract international researchers to the centre are included in the plans.

Expected to be built on land owned by The Christie, in Withington, the development will be funded by The University of Manchester and Cancer Research UK.

Residents have rejected the plans saying they are ‘too ambitious’ and ‘absurd’.

The Christie want to make significant changes to the green, resulting in a loss of green space, which most people are opposed to, said MP for Manchester Withington John Leech.

When talking about the green, Councillor Simon Wheale said: “It is a wonderful gateway to Withington Village.”

Wilson and Mason, who plan to build the scheme, proposed no option for Withington Green to be saved completely and explained the green remains an obstacle to the site.   

When questioned if the development could be moved back to incorporate the green Derek Southworth of Wilson Mason architects rejected this and said: “We would lose site for development.”

Mr Southwork further explained that in the plans they have interpreted Withington Green to keep parts that people like such as flower beds.

Mr Wheale argued the case further for Withington Green saying that keeping the green could save a lot of time and public money.

Residents have had further concern with the multi storey car park that is to be included in the development.

When speaking on the size of the car park Alicia Custis, from the Christie, said that there is a need for this car park as it is replacing spaces that the new building will remove.

One resident described the car park as an 'eye-sore'. They said: “It will be a concrete monstrosity.”

Another resident, who lives in the immediate vicinity of the proposed car park, expressed her disgust to the developers on what impact the car park will have.

“You are going to destroy my daylight. What right do you have? It’s going to be a horrible place to live.” she said.

Another resident questioned why a multi storey car park was planned for a residential area saying that she found it ‘absolutely incredible.’

 Although reluctant to welcome the destruction of the green and the size of the car park residents agree having The Christie on their doorstep is a major positive to the community.

 “In essence we are proud of The Christie,” said one resident.

Daniel Gillard, Amherst Road, Withington, said: “The work the Christie hospital does is wonderful and it saves lives every day.”

Plans are still in consideration and it could be a couple of months until a final decision is made.