Campaigners fight to save Chorlton secret wildlife haven under threat from developers

  • Chorlton's 'best kept secret' wildlife haven may be turned into car park if development plans approved 
  • Garden shared by neighbours and has taken decades to establish
  • Residents and councillors oppose development plans

Chorlton’s ‘secret garden’ is under threat from developers who plan to replace the wildlife haven with a car park.

The garden, which is tucked away behind Barlow Moor Road, has taken decades to establish, but could be cleared in a matter of days if development plans to create 13 parking spaces and extend existing buildings are approved.

The garden is shared by its surrounding tenants and is home to an array of wildlife rarely seen elsewhere in the city. It has become a haven for birdwatchers and is also home to bats, hedgehogs and a variety of plant life. The space is well loved by its neighbours who have been sharing their concerns over the plans online.

Ward councillors have formally objected to the planning proposals.

Councillor Mandie Shilton Godwin said “We are fully behind the tenants of Barlow Moor Road in their efforts to keep their amazing garden, which must be one of the best-kept secrets in Chorlton.”

Local councillors believe that the garden has been “misrepresented” by developers as being of little ecological significance.

According to an ecological survey of the garden submitted to the planning committee, 18 trees would be chopped down for the development.

Councillor Shilton Godwin said: “It would be wildlife vandalism to cut down all those beautiful trees and tarmac over them for a car park.”

City of Trees, a Manchester-based organisation focusing on improving the care and management of our trees, will be looking into the impact of the secret garden’s trees being felled. The fight to save the garden is also supported by Greening Greater Manchester and Groundwork Greater Manchester, who help communities to protect our local environment.

Councillor Shilton Godwin has invited the planning committee to “come and see the garden for themselves so that they can appreciate what a wonderful space it is and how much wildlife it sustains”.

Discussions surrounding the future of the garden are ongoing, and you can let the council know your thoughts here.