New flats to be built behind Chorlton Irish club despite parking chaos fears
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Plans to build a block of flats behind a social club in South Manchester have been given the green light despite concerns it would cause parking ‘chaos’.
The car park behind the Chorlton Irish Club was sold to housing association Southway last year with plans to build 29 affordable apartments on the site.
The club has been closed since the first Covid lockdown, but the subsequent sale was supposed to help trustees clear historic debts, allowing it to reopen.
Residents raised concerns about the height of the new four-storey building on Cross Road – and some were still not satisfied even after it was redesigned.
But councillors claimed it would create ‘total chaos’ when busy events are held at the social club once it reopens with a car park which is smaller than before.
Lib Dem councillor John Leech, who sits on Manchester’s planning committee, said the club will be left with just 13 parking spaces if the car park is built on.
He said: “I just don’t see how realistically on a busy event at the Irish Club there wouldn’t be complete chaos outside.”
Nevertheless, town hall bosses instructed the committee to ‘ignore’ the fact that the land in question was a car park because it has already been sold off.
Residents also objected to the plans, focusing on the height of the building.
Ex-architect Anthony Matthews, who has lived on Cross Road for 50 years, said he supports the principle of the scheme, but believe the block is ‘too tall’.
Some changes were made to the initial design of the development following feedback from residents, but objectors claim their views have been ‘ignored’.
Mr Matthews said the development would increase the number of homes in the suburban street by 264 pc and would become the tallest building around.
He said: “If this is not a case of overdevelopment, it is difficult to imagine what is.”
All of the apartments would be available as part of a shared ownership offer and aimed at first-time buyers – although it will be available to others too.
Manchester city council’s Julie Roscoe said the town hall will agree a strategy with Southway to make sure the apartments are not later sold off at market rates.
The application was approved by the planning committee at a meeting on Thursday (September 1) with 10 councillors voting in favour of the proposal.
Speaking ahead of the decision, Chorlton councillor Mathew Benham said he recognises the need for more homes in the area, particularly affordable ones.
He said councillors met with residents and relayed their concerns to Southway.
A spokesperson for the housing association said: “Southway Housing Trust has undertaken extensive public consultation on this scheme and taken on board residents’ feedback as much as possible.
“The high-quality sustainable development of 29 apartments has been shaped following extensive pre-application consultation with Manchester City Council, statutory stakeholders and the local community.”
According to Southway, the clubs’ trustees said that they intended to use the funds received from the sale to pay off the club’s debts and support its future.
Earlier this year, when the housing plans for the site were submitted, the trustees said they were still in the process of settling all of the club’s debts.
The Local Democracy Reporting Service has tried to contact the trustees of the club, but no response has been received.