SAVE The Odeon, Oxford Road Manchester…

“Lets meet at the Odeon” The Manchester Municipal Design Corporation will be hosting a guerilla style meetup outside the abandoned Odeon CInema on Oxford road. Date TBC. There will be popcorn.Please join this facebook group if you are interested in attending.

Background The planning permission for the demolition of the Odeon, Oxford Street, Manchester is about to run out. The developer needs to reapply. We can all put pressure on the planners to reject this. We now have a second chance to stop the demolition.

You still have time to comment on the application. We all need to comment on the application – online or in writing. The application is here:
publicaccess… If you click on Submit Comments and tick the ‘I live outside the area’ button you can leave comments. (You don’t have to live outside the area to use this box, but it’s a simpler way to the comments form.)

We need to make comments that are relevant to the planning process and the main arguments should be along the lines of: (put them into your own words!)

a)The original application was fundamentally flawed:

It was too big. It overwhelms all the buildings around it. The mass and elevations create a large white box – totally at odds with the materials and form of its neighbours.
The original application was made when the Manchester property market was over heated. There was little evidence of the demand for this large amount of office space at the time and, as the economy is hardly out of recession, the argument for increased office space is questionable. There is an over supply of office space in Manchester.

b) The original building makes a positive contribution to the Conservation Area.

The new office development and the demolition of the Odeon does nothing to contribute to the Conservation Area in which it sits, new developments should preserve or enhance the historic character of the area, this proposal does neither. This proposal should therefore not receive Conservation Area consent.

Little or no attempt was made to find an alternative use for the building. In the mean time the Royal Opera have sought a home in Manchester and the Library Theatre is temporarily homeless, both these could have been ‘potential’ new occupants.

c) The building should not be left to decay into an eyesore – if planning permission is granted, the council should enforce the developer to act on it – and not merely allow the developer to use planning permission as a temporary holding position, in order for them to wait until they chose to maximize their own profitability from their asset.

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