At Thursday’s Planning Committee Gorse Hill Councillors Mike Cordingley and Dave Acton spoke passionately for residents against a proposal to host rock/pop concerts at Manchester United between the end of May and end of June each year. United propose to host up to 7 concerts each year in this period including concerts on consecutive nights like we had to endure from Take That.
The planning committee and officers callously rejected our opposition. They rejected our claims that:
- residents are entitled to peace in the close season
- noise from the concerts and their dispersal would affect schoolwork at the most important time of the year
- concert dispersal is harder to achieve than football supporters, who are familiar with the area. Concert goers tend to be younger with more loitering in the area waiting for lifts with a tendency not to appreciate the noise they’re making, having being enjoying loud amplified music for the previous hours.
- that by allowing noise levels of up to 75db, they were ignoring planning guidance from the Noise Council that venues hosting more than 3 events a year should be limited to 15db(A) above background noise.
What were the reasons for rejecting residents’ objections?
Tory Councillor, Ken Weston said that clearly if residents were against the proposal, more of them would have written in. He believed this indicated that residents were not overly concerned.
Tory Chair of Planning, Viv Ward legitimately felt that United were important employers and generators of prosperity in the borough, but disdainfully suggested that since the stadium had been there for a 100 years, households knew what they were living next to. It’s hard to avoid the implication that she feels that by living near the ground we lose our rights to peace and quiet at the whim of its American owners.
The planning committee ignored the reasonable demand for peace at exam time and ignored the Noise Council’s guidance. When Tories say we’re all it together, what they mean is “put up and shut up”.