Magpie 35- Ombudsman stirs up “pond” memories #AbbeyPond

Kelly, U. (1995) Ombudsman stirs up “pond” memories. Magpie, 35, p.3.


We said the destruction of Abbey Pond would come back to haunt and empower (Press Release:: Jan. 1994). In December. MW submitted a detailed and well documented complaint of maladministration in respect of the failure of Manchester City Council (and their Hulme Sub-Committee) to implement the planning condition bolted on to the pre-ordained planning consent for Phase 4 of Manchester (not much) Science (even less) Park on 21st Dec. 1993. 

On 29th June 1995. I received a letter from the Commission’s Office in York, telling us that investigation would now proceed as set out in the following statement: that when granting planning permission for development, the Council imposed a condition, intended to protect a pond and its ecology, which was vague and ineffective. 

Furthermore the Council allowed the development to go ahead without first ensuring that the ecology of the pond had been or would be properly protected by the developer. (I’ll say!) As a consequence the original pond was destroyed (as seen on TV) and that which was created in its place was inadequate in size, location and construction to meet the intentions of the planning condition and the ecological value of the original pond was lost. 

We couldn’t have put it better ourselves, which of course, MW did its best to explain at the time. The investigation process has begun but it will be some months before an outcome is published. The City Council is said to be stirred but not shaken, or was it the other way round? IF the Ombudsman upholds the complaint, we understand that this will be the first ecological condition or mitigation in the UK to be thus judged: 

We are considering whether to put forward the muddy depression inside 500 feet of “designer” fencing in St.George’s to the Guinness Book of Records as the EU’s most expensive puddle?

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