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Manchester's conservation chief steps down

Manchester City Council’s long-serving conservation chief Warren Marshall is to hang up his boots at the end of the month.

A qualified architect, Marshall joined the authority 37 years ago – starting as a senior planner with the planning department’s design team in 1971 – and is widely regarded as having had ‘a huge influence on the design of the city’.

Subsequently elevated to the role of urban design and conservation manager, Marshall has also been instrumental in increasing the number of conservation areas in the city from 29 to 35.

Ian Beaumont of Manchester practice MBLA believes Marshall's input into the city should not be overlooked. He said: ‘At a time and in a city without a city architect [in the 1980s], Marshall was essential for Manchester.

‘In these days of CABE and design review panels it is easy to forget that for many years the level of architectural understanding of those charged with assessing development proposals was thin to say the least.

He added: ‘I will miss him, [though] those who had a tough time with him will possibly not share my view.’

Speaking about his imminent retirement Marshall said: ‘I am fiercely proud of Manchester as a city.

‘I have always tried to get the best out of the local architects’ creativity, rather than trying to impose a city style on them.

‘I’d hope that I have always got on well with people and have tried to get things done by persuasion, rather than bureaucracy.'

Marshall intends to continue in working with Manchester University and in consultancy roles as well as carrying out 'long-overdue' renovation on his own house.

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