Our once-thriving high street is ghost town with 'eyesore' shops abandoned for YEARS – we've been 'forgotten by council' | The Sun
RESIDENTS of a "ghost town" blighted by abandoned "eyesore" shops say they have been "forgotten" by the council.
Locals of Collyhurst in Manchester live just a mile from the bustling city centre, but say they have suffered from a chronic lack of investment in the area.
They are miserable as once-thriving shops have sat dormant for over a decade, while anti-social behaviour and drug dealing is rife.
Chelsea Dillon, 28, told The Sun Online that the area looks "run-down" and "tacky" with little to attract people to it.
She said: "We’re so close to the city centre but you’d never know it.
"There’s not much to see or do here. The shopping parade has been empty for more than ten years and it’s just an eyesore.
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"It feels like a forgotten part of Manchester. There’s just nothing here."
Fellow resident, Michelle Barker, 41, agreed, saying that crime has become an everyday thing on the nearby estate, including yobs blocking of roads and carrying out carjackings.
She fumed: "There’s nothing round here, nothing for kids and nowhere to shop. It seems to have taken a long time to get anything done."
This was backed up by James Cooper, 48, who added: "The empty shopping centre has led to anti-social behaviour, with people using it for fly-tipping.
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"You’d be surprised what people dump there and they were forced to put CCTV cameras up."
He explained that Collyhurst is an "amazing" area and sits on one of the main routes into the city, but has just been neglected for too long.
Work is currently underway on a project to build 1,500 new homes, including a 34-storey tower, as part of a regeneration of the north-eastern part of the city.
However, there are no specific plans for the Collyhurst shopping parade due to start this month, other than demolishing it.
James slammed the council for their lack of attention for the area, saying: "The council has spent money on vanity projects such as Piccadilly Gardens [in the city centre] but ignored areas like this."
Collyhurst forms part of £4bn joint scheme between Manchester City Council and the Far East Consortium, an international property developer based in Hong Kong.
Over the next 10 to 15 years, Victoria North – the city’s largest ever residential project – will create around 15,000 new homes, schools, healthcare facilities and public parks, as well a new transport links.
The council has confirmed immediate plans to demolish the empty shops on Eastford Square, with councillor Pat Karney describing it as “the biggest eyesore” in the north of the city.
He said: "I can sympathise with the residents for having to put up with this for 15 years. We want it demolished as soon as possible – I'm on to the town hall daily."
Cllr Gavin White, who is the executive member for housing and development at Manchester council, said square had attracted incidents of anti-social behaviour and demolition would be a "relief" to local residents.
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"In the longer term, we look forward to bringing the site into more positive use as part of the wider Victoria North programme of regeneration," he said.
"Any such proposals will be subject to community consultation as and when they come forward."
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