The following email was received from our local MP John Leech prior to Wednesday 26th August’s meeting:
Thank you for your email and apologies for the delay in replying because I have been away on holiday for 2 weeks. I was asked by Rob Turley from West Didsbury Football club to meet with him just before I went on holiday, and he talked through the proposals that they have for Hardy Farm/ Chorlton Meadows. The plans are clearly controversial, and I advised him of the need to consult with local residents. Some of the proposals do not require planning permission, because the land was previously University sports fields, and so marking out football pitches would not be a change of use.
Floodlights would clearly require planning permission, although there have been floodlights there previously. I am concerned about the impact from the floodlights, which would significantly change the character of the area, and cause disruption to local residents. Significant changes to the sports pavilion/changing rooms would require planning permission, but unless there were significant changes to the footprint of the building, this element of the plans would be very likely to receive planning permission because there is already a building on the land.
The most controversial element of the proposals (and the part that I am most concerned about) is the plan to install a third generation all weather pitch, which would be fenced off and floodlit. This would clearly restrict access to the Meadows that people have had for a very long time. I questioned the need for a further all weather pitch, when we already have them at Chorlton High School, Loreto, Houghend and Whalley Range. The club is arguing that it would be the only full size “3rd generation” pitch. My view is that this is not an appropriate location for a floodlit all weather pitch. I have spoken to the planning department, but so far they have not said whether they are likely to recommend approving the plans, but I cannot possibly support it.
I am happy to be involved and I intend to come to the meeting tonight.