Manchester Council is deliberately allowing historical and culturally significant buildings to fall into disrepair or collapse completely to make way for luxury apartments, the Liberal Democrats have revealed.
A walking tour through the heart of Manchester's Northern Quarter has revealed eight historic buildings are in need of urgent care and restoration but Manchester Council is deliberately ignoring warnings.
Local residents led by community campaigner Martin Browne catalogued 51 buildings on just eight streets in Manchester and warned that almost all of them are at risk of demolition if the council doesn't take swift action.
Buildings on Soap Street, which have featured prominently in blockbuster films such as Alfie and Captain America, are set to be knocked down to make way for a 13-story glass tower, despite being structurally sound.
Above: Northern Quarter features in hit films such as Capitan America
A motion, which was approved by the council yesterday (03/10/18), laid foundations for a local heritage listing system but campaigners have slammed the "meaningless" token gesture.
It claimed to listen to statutory bodies like Historic England, but in recent committees, Labour have gone against their advice and demolished some of the oldest buildings in the city.
Liberal Democrat Councillor Richard Kilpatrick told the town hall:
"Manchester Council is deliberately allowing historic buildings to rot until they are inches away from collapsing, then they knock them down to make way for even more luxury apartments. It is just another part of their social cleansing plan which has been going on for years.
"Manchester Council is dangerously close to completely ripping the heart out of one of our city's most iconic and beloved areas, and whilst we have supported the motion, it is essentially a completely empty plan that says and does nothing - all they are trying to do is cover their own bulldozer's tracks and we won't let them get away with it
"Our Northern Quarter heritage is clearly not safe in Labour's hands and only the Liberal Democrats are standing up for our city's history."
Martin Browne, who led the walk around Northern Quarter to catalogue buildings and their conditions, said:
"The council's token motion is totally meaningless and goes nowhere near far enough to protect the heritage and culturally significant buildings that the Northern Quarter boasts.
"Residents groups must be given the power to stop inappropriate demolitions in conservation areas."
Local city centre resident, Joe Lynch, said:
"This council must quickly start to take seriously the heritage that residents across the city cherish and stop knocking down the buildings that house Manchester’s proud history."