Friday, 8 Dec 2023

‘Our UK town has lost it all – everything is closing from care homes to pubs’

Residents of a town near Manchester have said they are losing everything from care homes to pubs as their area caters more and more to a growing student population.

Salley Casey, who lives in Hulme, claimed that pubs, churches, and schools were closing because the town is trying to improve the area for students.

She said that because of the changes, many people who grew up in the town will not be able to grow old there.

Her comments come at a time when a group of residents are fighting to stop the construction of student accommodation in the centre.

Speaking to the Manchester Evening News she said: “We’ve lost everything. We have nothing in this area.

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She added: “Everything is for students. We have one bar, but when older people try to go in they’ve been told this is not really for you.”

Ms Casey also criticised the development of new student accommodation by developers Curlew who allegedly want to build on the site of the Gamecock pub.

In response to the developer’s attempts to woo the council, the Manchester Evening News said locals have drawn up alternative plans for the site including age-friendly social housing.

Ms Casey said: “This piece of land where the Gamecock was is the last bastion of little space we have. What we’re trying to do is protect residents.

“We need to bring back a sense of belonging to this area. We are determined to bring life back to what has been taken away from us.”

Fellow local Tina Cribbin said that because of the shift towards pleasing younger generations, older people are feeling scared to move out.

She said: “Older people are hiding behind frailty indoors because they’re scared to move out. That’s a disgrace.”

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In a statement, a spokesperson for Curlew said: “Curlew has made a number of significant changes to its original proposal for the redevelopment of the former Gamecock pub to address the reasons given by Manchester City Council’s Planning Committee for rejecting the planning application, contrary to the recommendations made by Council Planning Officers.

“This has included reducing the height of the building and introducing provision for disabled car parking.

“Curlew fully acknowledges and respects the feedback received to date and it has evolved the scheme to address this.

“These changes have been made against the backdrop of an ongoing pressing need for additional, well-managed student accommodation in the City located close to the universities and the Oxford Road Corridor which Curlew’s proposals represent a positive response to.”

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