Jon-Connor Lyons has launched a campaign to green the Piccadilly Gardens wall, calling for a meeting with council leader Richard Leese and Pat Karney, secretary of the Manchester Labour Group secretary.

Cllr Lyons, who says he is an advocate for green spaces and planting trees in the city centre, wants to transform the eyesore into a green, living wall to improve its appearance and make Piccadilly Gardens a nicer place to be.

Manchester’s youngest Labour councillor launched his campaign standing in front of the wall. In the video he is holding a sign saying “Dear Richard Leese and Pat Karney, GREEN THIS WALL”.

“I strongly believe our built environment has a huge impact on how people can behave in this city,” says Cllr Lyons, who has pledged to regenerate Piccadilly Gardens.

Plans first emerged in 2016 for a major overhaul of Piccadilly Gardens after constant complaints from the public about the area.

Pension fund Legal and General, which owns a 250-year lease on the concrete monstrosity, backtracked on their original proposals to redevelop the location into new restaurants.

The final designs were submitted to the planning department in July 2017. However, L&G’s vision became no longer viable when problems began in the mid-market restaurant trade, causing them to abandon their plans.

Plans to demolish the wall were scrapped earlier this year after an 18 month battle with the council.

The council has planned to put millions of pounds into improving the rest of Piccadilly Gardens, with work already starting – however, the main wall itself is sticking around for the foreseeable future.

With so many years left on the lease, the wall could still be standing when our children’s grandchildren are alive.

As far as we’re concerned, the mission to hide renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando’s brutal creation with “greenery” can’t come soon enough. Bring on the foliage.

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