Hidden city center beauty spot blighted by ‘Condom Street’, derelict pub and £350,000 ‘luxury’ flats that don’t exist

Every Street is one of those places where the ‘old’ Ancoats meets the ‘new’.

On one side of the road are modest terraced houses, some of which are still occupied by social housing tenants.

On the other hand, there’s the huge X1 Plaza development with its ground-floor gym overlooking Great Ancoats Street and one-bedroom apartments starting at £800 a month.

READ MORE: Life on both sides of Ancoats’ ‘fashionable’ divide, and what locals old and new really think of all its changes.

Both sets of residents have the benefit of living within walking distance of downtown attractions.

And as highlighted by MEN last year, the Every Street area is also home to Pin Mill Brow, a beautiful hidden spot around the Medlock River that offers a rare opportunity to enjoy green space and wildlife.

David Bailey, an academic who lives in the area, told how he discovered the riverside path during the pandemic lockdown and is among a group of enthusiasts who now want to see it rejuvenated as an urban oasis.

Just over a year since David first spoke, hundreds of residents have joined a group of ‘Friends of Medlock Way’ to carry out litter collection, improve signage and catch the litter.

There is a beautiful but underused path along the River Medlock in Ancoats and Beswick

But the group feels their efforts are hampered by a variety of factors including unsightly buildings, “industrial-scale” illegal tipping, and antisocial behavior related to drug use and sex work.

They are calling on Manchester City Council to do more to support the efforts of residents.

The issue could be one of the deciding factors in the upcoming Ancoats and Beswick district council by-election on February 3.

An election campaign was held last Saturday afternoon at Dale House on Vickers Street.

All Saints Church on All Ancoats Streets

It came after former councilor Marcia Hutchinson resigned from her post after just six months amid allegations of harassment and a “toxic culture” in the ruling Labor group.

She was elected in 2021 on a platform that promised to campaign for up to five new parks in the district and says she still wants to see it delivered as Group Secretary of the Friends group.

“Since I was elected, practically nothing has happened,” Marcia said.

“There was so much local enthusiasm for the plans I drew up in April 2021, the proposed Pin Mill Park really caught the imagination of local residents, and several people at the door told me they voted Labor specifically to get the parks.”

Advertisement for ‘luxury’ flats that don’t exist

Situated on the edge of downtown and with large underutilized land, the Pin Mill Brow area is ripe for development.

Activists believe that landlords are allowing buildings to deteriorate knowing that land values ​​are likely to rise and that lucrative development opportunities may be on the horizon, a pattern that has been seen repeatedly in the Barrio Norte throughout. of the years.

An example that activist David Bailey points to is the old All Saints Church on all streets.

All Saints Church on every street

Built in 1839, it was declared Grade II listed for its special architectural interest.

The church closed more than 30 years ago and the building has remained largely unused ever since.

It is currently in a dilapidated state and towards the end of last year, yellow tape with the words ‘Dangerous Building’ appeared around it.

Manchester City Council says that although Building Control officers have visited the property in the past, they have not recently and do not believe the church requires demolition.

However, David fears for his future after seeing an advertisement for “affordable and luxury” flats that seemed to be linked to the site but have yet to be built.

The now-removed listing for ‘Albella House’ on RightMove said two- or three-bedroom properties would start at £350,000.

An artist’s impression depicted a building that looks identical to All Souls Church.

And in the announcement, the development is described as “built on the site of the Old Rectory Church…”

The ad also says: “The beautiful apartment building has taken into account the former Grade II listed All Souls Church and sympathetically incorporated it into the exterior design.”

No planning application for such a development has been submitted to Manchester City Council.

However, to add to the mystery, an application for a block of flats on the adjacent Rectory site was granted planning permission in 2016.

After MEN contacted the agent LPC Residential to try to get clarity, the ad was removed.

LPC did not respond to further requests for comment to explain the ad or why it was removed.

A Manchester City Council spokesman said: “Our building monitoring team have been called to the properties in the past to assess the building’s condition, but as they are privately owned, the City Council cannot force owners to put them into use. “.

‘Co dom’ street

Lime Bank Street has attracted a reputation for sex work among locals.

The sad fate of All Saints Church and the River Inn is indicative of a lack of care and attention in the area, the Friends group feels.

Records show that much of the land in the area is owned by the council and they believe this should make it easier to create a new park.

“We inform [fly-tipping] to the council and nothing happens,” said David.

Resident David Bailey is frustrated by what he feels is a lack of council support

“The council has put together the Our Rivers, Our Town strategy, which lists ‘pocket parks’ for the lower Medlock Valley, but we want to see a proper park in Pin Mill Brow, which has been promised before the 2021 local election.

“Council records show that land ownership plans show most of the land is owned by the council, so there should be no reason why this cannot be implemented quickly.”

Friends group chairman David O Rourke added: “I was born in this area and have lived here all my life.

“It’s a shame to see the state of the area around Pin Mill Brow.

“Limebank Street is known locally as ‘Condom Street’ due to prostitution, people don’t let their children play in the area.

“For the past 18 years, I have been planting trees and tending to part of Pin Mill Brow, but it shouldn’t just depend on individual residents.

“When I was little, the East Area Improvement Program changed this river valley from an industrial wasteland to a forested habitat, a wildflower meadow, and once again the distressed river we see today.

“It started to get neglected and the government is paying landowners across the country to create wildlife corridors, like the Medlock River Valley.

“That will take years, and we already have one here, under the nose of Manchester’s growing shadow,

“It needs protection. I can only hope that our generation can add to its texture, vibrancy and beauty for generations to come.”

Another member of the group, Keeley O’Rourke, added: “Viaduct Street is like ‘Bensons for Beds’, there are so many mattresses lying around there.

“I love walking my dog ​​Mavis around the area, but have had to take her to the vet many times because she has cut her legs on broken cans (which are as sharp as razor blades) and other drug paraphernalia.

“It’s ruining what would otherwise be such a lovely park.”

Monster pub once owned by the Mosley family and the Labor councilor

On Palmerston Street, which also runs parallel to the River Medlock, there is another building with an interesting story to tell.

According to the Pubs of Manchester blog, the River Inn was licensed in 1860 as a home to Cronshaws Alexandra Brewery.

It is believed that it limped on until 2007 before it finally closed for punters.

Today it is in a very bad state of repair and residents complain that the building is unsafe and often littered with trash and drug paraphernalia.

Its property records reveal some of the history of the area.

Land register documents show that a lease was owned by Sir Oswald Mosley in the 1850s, the 4th Baronet of the Mosley Baronetcy of Ancoats.

His grandson was the notorious sixth baronet who founded the British Union of Fascists.

In 1609 the Mosley family also built Ancoats Hall, a post-medieval country house on Great Ancoats Street, whose terraced gardens sloped towards Medlock.

The building was demolished and replaced in the 1820s by a brick hall which housed the Manchester Art Museum and a University of Manchester residence hall before it itself was demolished in the 1960s.

Land Registry documents show that R&R Properties Mcr Ltd bought the River Inn land lease for £100,000 in April 2014.

The sole director of R&R Properties Mcr Ltd at the time was Aftab Razaq, the Whalley Range Labor Councilor.

Until last year, 58-60 Palmerston Street was listed in the Cllr Aftab register of interests on the council’s website.

However, according to the business house, Cllr Aftab resigned as director of R&R properties in September 2020.

When contacted by the MEN, Cllr Aftab did not comment on complaints about the deterioration of the building.

“I have requested the City Attorney to update the register of interest accordingly,” he said.

What the Manchester Council says:

Cllr Rabnawaz Akbar, Executive Member of Manchester City Council Neighbourhoods, said: “We completely condemn illegal tipping anywhere in the city and the people who commit these crimes are truly the scourge of our communities.”

“The City Council is working hard to address this issue and we appreciate local people reporting these issues so the debris can be removed as soon as possible.

“We will always investigate when littering occurs and when we find those responsible, we will use the full force of the law to bring them to justice.

“I have and will continue to work with the two local councilors in Ancoats and Beswick to address these issues and our neighborhood team is working with the local communities to address these issues.

“I also understand the impact antisocial behavior can have on our neighborhoods and would love to meet with the group of friends to better understand the issues you are experiencing and work together to improve your community.”

Council officials are understood to have been monitoring historic buildings in the local area, including the River Inn pub and All Souls Church, and understand that the properties have “historic value to local people”.

However, both properties are privately owned and the council is understood to believe it only has the legal right to intervene if they become “a risk to public health”.

It is understood that building owners are being urged to invest in their properties and put them back into use.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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