The Friends of Library Walk want to save this special place from the council’s proposals to gate and glaze it. We feel the scheme is unnecessary and a waste of money. We oppose the privatisation of public space and want to protect a much loved right of way!
************************** UPDATE FEBRUARY 2014 **************************
Please write a letter and help us save Library Walk, one of Manchester’s most beautiful places.
A Stopping Up Order has been issued to close Library Walk, if a number of objections are received then an inquiry must be launched by The Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. This is an opportunity to review the whole scheme and our experienced legal team are confident we have a very strong case to present at inquiry.
If you write a letter to oppose the Stopping Up Order we can halt work and trigger an inquiry. Your letter does not have to be long but every letter will count and will help us. The deadline is tight – we have until February 28th to act – and we have been advised against writing a pro forma as letters should be individual but here is a guide to what you could say.
You need to be polite, concise and logical and make it clear you object to the stopping up order. You do not have to live in Manchester to have your voice heard. NB this is a different legal process to the planning application so any previous correspondence is not counted here, but you can of course, cut and paste from anything else you have written. I’m writing a letter on behalf of The Friends of Library Walk and am happy to send you a copy if you want to see.
YOU MUST INCLUDE your name, address and the reference L/NJM/EVD5001/1080. State that you oppose The CITY OF MANCHESTER LIBRARY WALK FOOTPATH, MANCHESTER CITY CENTRE PUBLIC PATH STOPPING UP ORDER 2014 and include your reason(s) for doing so
Reasons to object can include
1) Public Interest
Library Walk is a place of significant architectural merit, between 2 grade II* buildings in two conservation areas and has been an integral part of the city centre topography for over 80 years. Library Walk has an important function increasing the permeability of St Peters Square (which will become more popular as a result of the redevelopment). Improved access, vibrant streets and aspirations to be a 24-hour city have been key aims of recent Manchester Council policy and stopping up Library Walk conflicts with these. Library Walk is a useful and well-loved route for residents which has inspired artists and attracts tourists. Of course these are not the only reasons closure is not in the public interest so feel free to include your own.
2) Closure of Public Space
Manchester Council are seeking closure of a public space and there is a fundamental objection to this. The limited opening times can be changed in the future as once a right of way has been extinguished, it will not be public anymore and there is no power to object to variations. Incidentally the proposed opening hours are shorter than Metrolink opening hours and security should not be a consideration under The Town and Country Planning Act
3) Legal Process
We believe Manchester City Council have been acting illegally as no temporary stopping up order was granted prior to commencing work leaving them open to prosecution, The Council should be setting an example and following the law.
LETTERS MUST BE SENT TO Liz Treacy, City Solicitor, PO Box 532, Town Hall, Manchester, M60 2LA quoting reference L/NJM/EVD5001/1080
The deadline for receipt of letters is FRIDAY 28TH FEBRUARY so please act promptly. Also let The Friends of Library Walk know you have responded so we can provide evidence of widespread public support. We are working with organisations including manchester modernist society, The Open Spaces Society, The Greater Manchester Pedestrian Association and The Ramblers Association and thank you all so much for your support.
If you need any more information please contact me directly on 07974929589 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org I’ve also got a stash of stamps and envelopes if you need them. Background information can be found at http://friendsoflibrarywalk.wordpress.com/
Thanks again, and please remember every letter can make a difference.
Friends of Library Walk
Last chance for Library Walk – Friends appeal for support at Thursday’s planning meeting
The fate of one of Manchester’s most unusual walkways, Library Walk off St. Peter’s Square, will be decided at a meeting of Manchester City Council’s Planning Committee on Thursday afternoon (2.00pm, 25 October, 2012). The meeting follows special debates at meetings of the council’s Executive Committee and Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Committee on its plans to gate and glaze the passage, as well as a well-attended public celebration event last month organised by the Friends of Library Walk.
There are several events coming up in the next few weeks – check it out here
PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION TO ASK MANCHESTER PLANNING DEPT TO REFUSE PLANNING PERMISSION
Library Walk is one of Manchester’s cultural gems. It was designed by the celebrated architect E Vincent Harris to complement Central library and the Town Hall Extension, both Grade-II* listed buildings. Library Walk is not an accidental space, but one designed to be that way. It is a space which is highly regarded by the general public and architectural experts alike as an intrinsic part of the heritage value of the buildings on either side.
We all use the walkway because of how wonderful it is! Sadly at present you can’t walk through it, as renovation work is being carried out to the Library and Town Hall, but this website will hopefully help you imagine being there.
Library Walk was also voted as one of Manchester’s Happy Places in 2006 on BBC website!
The article below gives a really good introduction to why we think Library Walk is such an important architectural, historical and cultural gem to Manchester’s urban environment. It has been takne from an article written by Aiden O’Rourke on 2010-04-11.
Library Walk is one of Manchester’s best loved corners, a curved passageway built in the 1930s linking St Peters Square and Mount Street, near Albert Square. It runs between the Central Library and the Town Hall Extension, both designed and built in the 1930s by architect E Vincent Harris.
Library Walk is a pedestrian passageway in Manchester city centre, linking Saint Peter’s Square to the east with Mount Street, near Albert Square to the west. Following the curving centreline of Library Walk I would estimate it to be to be around 120 yards long.
Its unique curved shape is formed by the interlocking profiles of two of Manchester’s mostmagnificent civic buildings: The Central Library to the south and the Town Hall Extension to the north. The Central Library was constructed in the early 1930s and opened in 1934. The Town Hall Extension was constructed in the mid-1930s and opened in 1938. Both buildings were designed by the architect E Vincent Harris.
Library Walk only came into existence on completion of the Town Hall Extension in 1937 and is so is a relatively new addition to Manchester city centre.
Due to its curving path, and the ravine-like effect of the two tall 20th century buildings on either side, with their complementary styles of architecture, it must be one of the most interesting passageways in any British city.
The unique character of Library Walk
From many perspectives its character is unique: Due to its curving profile, it’s not possible to see from one end of Library Walk to the other. Only when you are half way along can you look around and see Mount Street behind you and St Peters Square straight ahead, or vice versa.
Due to the movement of the sun, the appearance of Library Walk alters throughout the day. It is situated on the northern side of the Central Library and so not much direct daylight falls on it. The changing pattern of shadows and light reflected off the sides of buildings, or from windows, has a big effect on the character of Library Walk. The colour of the stonework varies according to whether the weather conditions are wet or dry.
Another unique aspect of Library Walk is its sound profile. Footsteps echo off the exterior walls, and the hum of traffic as well as the ‘toot toot’ of Metrolink trams is echoed along the passageway from one end to the other.
Library Walk is familiar to thousands of people in Manchester city centre who for decades have been walking back and forth along its curving path at all times of the day and also at night in all seasons and weather conditions.
A welcome respite from city life
It’s one of the few corners of Manchester where you can gain respite from many of the often annoying aspects of contemporary British city life, such as traffic congestion, privatised buses, SUVs and stretch limos, double yellow lines, advertisement hoardings and much more.
It’s one of the best loved and most enduring features of Manchester city centre and unchanging corner of a 1930s civic vision of Manchester that remained largely unbuilt.