Protestors have chosen day to show well-loved pub's historical associations

Campaigners are organising a protest against the Apex Tower on Deansgate, calling the proposed building "incongruous" and a "gross insult". The tower is to be built extremely close to the well-loved city-centre pub, The Briton's Protection.

The protest will take place on the anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre on 16 August.

If it goes ahead, it'll become a laughing stock, symbolizing overseas investment in the city arrogantly trampling on our local history

Arrowsmith Investments, employing north west-based architects Leach Rhodes Walker, wants to build the tower right next to one of Manchester city centre's oldest pubs.

The developers say their proposals will "enhance" the 200-year-old, Grade II-listed Briton's Protection, while also providing 72 two-bedroom flats.

Arrowsmith states: "At the heart of the design evolution has been the consideration of the Briton’s Protection and preserving its importance as an historic local landmark and a Grade II listed building. The Apex Tower proposals will enhance, rather than impact, the pub."

23 April The Britons Protection Beer Garden Were The Esl Was Dreamed Up Honestly
The beer garden at The Briton's Protection Image: Confidentials

To date, 211 formal objections have been sent to the council regarding 26-storey tower. You can also read our own Jonathan Schofield's take on the proposal (hint: he is not impressed).

Jonathan writes: "The one positive point is the cracking beer garden behind the Briton's Protection isn’t being snaffled by the development. Then again, speaking of protection, the new tower will offer total protection against any late afternoon and early evening sunshine for that garden. It will put the old guy next door permanently in the shade."

The planning application contains a daylight and sunlight transient overshadowing assessment, with instructed surveyors Gia asked to focus on the pub's beer garden. It says: "The results of the assessment show that the beer garden is already in shade on 21 March from the existing buildings and the proposed development will cause no additional overshadowing."

You can read more about this and the rest of the proposed developments in the planning application or on the Arrowsmith public consultation document.

Britons Protection Planned Tower In Manchester
The planned tower "dwarfs" the pub Image: Arrowsmith

Campaigners have chosen the day of the Peterloo Massacre for the protest as it was one of the few remaining buildings in the city centre that would have witnessed the events of that day, back in 1819.

“We urge the council planning committee to do the right thing,” said Paul Fitzgerald, chair of the Peterloo Memorial Campaign. “The placing of such an overwhelmingly tall, incongruous tower jammed right up against this deeply historic pub would be a gross insult to our democratic heritage. 

"It, and the second tall building proposed for the other side, will turn the cherished beer garden into a grim dark workhouse exercise yard, with some picnic tables in it, threatening the financial future of one of Manchester's best-loved and most significant pubs."

Paul adds, "This ridiculous development has already been nicknamed 'Flat Stanley', and is the subject of widespread derision and outrage. If it goes ahead, it'll become a laughing stock, symbolising overseas investment in the city arrogantly trampling on our local history."

The protest will take place on Tuesday 16 August at 7pm outside Briton's Protection pub. The Peterloo commemoration event is on the same day at 5.30pm for a 6pm start.

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