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A New £4M City Park, But Please Don't Let It Be Like Piccadilly Gardens

Abraham Lincoln statue in Lincoln Square, Manchester

As Manchester recovers from the latest disasterous make-over at Piccadilly Gardens, another underwhelming public space is about to get long-awaited attention.

A planning application from Commercial Development Projects on behalf of neighbouring landowers represents a £4M attempt to address the problems of Lincoln Square, where a new 1.6 acre city park is proposed.

A supporting report by Deloitte Real Estate admits the square — dominated by a statue of the assasinated president Abraham Lincoln — is a "missed opportunity."

"The area suffers from poor quality surfacing, lack of permeability exacerbated by the prominence of car parking, overshadowing from extensive tree planting and a lack of activity on key frontages facing the public realm," the Deloitte report said.

The application follows two years of work by Altrincham-based Planit-IE, and represents a £4M private investment. The peace garden — removed from St Peter's Square to make way for tram lines — will be installed in the square named after the Civil War president.

Re-orienting the statue — famously placed to have his back to most pedestrian users — and new planting with help create "a space for quiet contemplation," the document said. There will also be an end to parking at Queen Street, part of the city park.

In May the 22K SF office block at Queens House, Lincoln Square, was sold to Portsmouth City Council at a yield of 4.75%.

M&G Real Estate expected to announce the future of the 100K SF Brazennose House this year. A 150K SF redevelopment has planning permission but progress on the derelict block has been slow.