Manchester

Turn Moss: Council plan backed by ex-Manchester United star opposed

Turn Moss
Image caption The plan would see car parking increased and an all-weather pitch added to the site

Ex-Manchester United star Gary Neville has been criticised by campaigners fighting plans to build training pitches on green belt land.

Under the proposals, three new pitches on Turn Moss in Stretford would be leased to Salford City, the club co-owned by the former footballer.

He told a public meeting the plans would transform "really poor" facilities for the local community.

In response, local campaigners said the plan offered little benefit to them.

Image caption Neville told the public meeting he would be happy to meet residents again to discuss the plans

The plan for Turn Moss, part of Trafford Council's Stretford Masterplan, would see a floodlit all-weather pitch created in a fenced area, alongside two grass pitches, and a cafe and changing facilities built.

It would also see car parking increased by 23 spaces and a walkway and lighting added to an access road.

According to the council, the proposals were for land which is currently unusable "due to flooding" and would leave the site with "17 usable public pitches".

The all-weather pitch would be fenced in accordance with Football Association rules and would be available for hire by any team when not in use by Salford City.

Image caption Local residents told the meeting the plan offered little benefit to them

More than 300 people attended the council's final public meeting about the project at Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium on Tuesday.

Stretford Grammar School governor Matthew Connolly told the meeting at Old Trafford football stadium the plan had been "ill-thought out".

He said it would be cheaper to site the all-weather pitch at his school.

Other locals said the plan would be of little benefit and suggested the pitches should be sited on brownfield sites in Salford.

Neville said Turn Moss was a "really poor" facility when he visited and that the plan would make it "sustainable for the next 10 years".

He added that he would be happy to meet residents again to discuss the plans.

The public consultation on the plans has been extended and is due to run until 28 March.

In January, Neville and the four other members of the "Class of '92" which own Salford City - Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt, Phil Neville and Paul Scholes - revised their input into the Stretford Masterplan, which would have seen a university and a 20-storey student village built, following a consultation.

UA92 is fronted by the ex-Manchester United stars and takes its name from the year they started their careers at the club.

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