Gary Neville’s plans to develop land in Trafford into football pitches have officially been scrapped

  • Newly-elected Labour council scraps plans on their first day in control
  • Residents campaigned vigorously to have plans thrown out

The newly-elected Labour council in Trafford has thrown out plans by former Manchester United footballer Gay Neville to build a café, changing rooms and 3G football pitch on the Turn Moss site after noisy protests from residents.

The build would have taken up to 20% of the greenbelt land and the pitches would have been lit by floodlights until 10pm.

The plans were met with anger by local residents and campaign group Friends of Turn Moss who held protests and fundraisers to overturn the plans.

A£5,000 fighting fund raised as part of the campaign to pay solicitors will now be used to improve facilities in the area and the council is encouraging the community to put forward their own ideas for its use.

Chairman of Friends of Turn Moss, Simon Howarth, said: “The vast majority of residents are delighted, relieved and amazed because they believed that this was a fight we would not win, but a fight we had to have none the less. 1,800 people objected to the plans, which is the largest number of objections to a planning application in Trafford ever, which shows the level of support.”

Mr Howarth claimed that the previous Tory-controlled make-up in council had refused to negotiate with protestors in the community and that this was a key factor n Labout being eleted the biggest party in May’s local elections. One of Labour’s key pledges was opposition to the plan.

A day after taking control of the council, council leader, Councillor Andrew Western announced on Twitter that Gary Neville’s plan – part of his UA 92 sports university ambitions – would be rejected.

Mr Howarth said: “We are working very closely with Labour and the new administration who are now leading the council and got great support from our ward councillors.”

Gary Neville says he now has his eye on two other locations in Trafford. He Tweeted: “Imagine standing in the way of kids and sport because you were going to lose 2 acres (through a 3G) of all that space that you still would have been able to enjoy. The selfishness to not give up just a little.

“Kids struggle for focus, facilities and mentoring nowadays.”

And we were willing to give so much. You have shown no compromise to ever recognise this space as sport!! The trail, playground, cafe were all facilities that recognised the community usage. We will go somewhere else and I will send you pictures of what could have been achieved.”