The leader of the Pirate Party has called for a different kind of ASBO to be placed on a Northern Quarter car park after syringes were found at the Oldham Street site.
The ‘zombie’ car park sprung up after a fire at the Dobbins plant in April last year and was refused retrospective planning permission in February despite a council report earlier recommending approval.
And a Pirate Party leader Loz Kaye has suggested that an ‘Anti Social Business Order’ should be placed on operator Simple Intelligent Parking (SiP) car parks in a bid to clean up the site.
Mr Kaye said: “It’s completely out of order that SiP carparks won’t take responsibility for their own site. Abandoned needles are an obvious health risk to the public, and SiP’s own employees.
“This is not about stigmatising any group of people. It’s simply about agencies are failing to deal with fundamental problems.
“We wouldn’t put up with uncleared sharps in a restaurant or hospital, why is it OK for a carpark?
“I warned the council about this months ago. It seems that they are unwilling to act to deal with a delinquent operator. It’s time for an Anti Social Business Order. SiP have had enough chances. Let’s get these cowboys out of our city, Manchester deserves better.”
‘UNKEMPT AND HIDEOUS’: Syringes and needles left for weeks in Oldham Street car park
Mr Kaye also indicated that used needles have been ‘left for days this month’ on the SiP carparks facility without anyone acting to clear them up.
In response, SiP assured MM that the matter would be promptly dealt with.
A SiP spokesman said: “We have dispatched a member of staff to check the Oldham Street car park, if there are any syringes in the car park they will be disposed of accordingly.”
The car park has been the subject of controversy before with campaigns to have it turned into a small park as well as complaints that the facility is ‘unkempt and hideous’ in the original planning consultation.
The application made by car park owner Craig Jones was refused six months ago after it was noted to contradict The Core Strategy, key to Manchester’s Local Development Framework.
The Parkstarter campaign was also set-up, and backed by Mr Kaye, to force the closure of the car park with founder Sam Easterby-Smith attaining 2,000 signatures on a petition ahead of the planning permission verdict.
Sam also addressed the council’s planning committee at the meeting in a bid to oppose the continued use of the site for parking, indicating that the facility would ‘attract drug dealing, litter including medical waste, car crime, other anti-social behaviour’.
Sam told MM at the time: “I just became fed up of all these zombie developments around the city centre. This has become a hopeful site for a park.”
Residents targeted the ‘eyesore’ for attracting litter and broken glass and branded the facility an ‘aberration’.
Green activists Friends of the Earth also lashed out at the operator for ‘making a mockery of the planning system by encouraging and rewarding applicants who skirt council regulations’ and warned that the site could have an adverse effect on city centre pollution.