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Everything posted by Sha

  1. Manx Arms

    Warrington town centre fast turning into a soul-less no-where-ville.
  2. The latest.......8 storey high apartments and 9 storey high car park proposed near to central station, planning committee concern over lack of 'affordable' units .........what about height? Also, another car park? What 'chance' has Warrington town centre got?
  3. Negative thoughts have certainly led to negative outcome!. It was the negative developer/greed led thoughts of those who produced the town centre ‘regeneration’ plans which have led to it’s destruction. It has been the inaction of our councillors – what on earth were they thinking of when they allowed these plans to be passed? All, despite the professional, renown CABE DESIGN refusing to support the plans! The result of these negative thoughts and foolhardy decisions has led to one monstrous, ugly mess which will only get worse as the developments progress. Warrington town centre could have been regenerated at a fraction of the cost, in a way that could have preserved it’s unique heritage and identity whilst retaining the loyalty and affection of the people. How can you expect people to ‘take ownership’ of the bland, box-type ‘no-where’s-ville’ being presently created?
  4. Hope these cobbles don't go the same way as the Forge machinery after being placed in 'safe storage'.
  5. Thanks, Algy. I'll have to try to find the source of that info again.
  6. Specialst Aggregates appears to be the company chosen to advise on the Grappenhall cobbles. http://www.specialistaggregates.com/grappenhalls-million-cobbled-road-n-123.html They have given their version of the history of the cobbled road. Algy, do you have any information on the history of this road? I remember reading a geologists report, I think it was circa 1860's where the cobbles were identified as originating in France and having been washed along the Mersey were found locally, from where the Mersey tributaries had originally extended into what is now Grappenhall / Appleton area. If this is true then the contractors version could be just a load of old cobblers. ( their version makes any necessary replacements easier to come by though).
  7. Birthday

    Happy Belated Birthday Stallard - have a good year!
  8. Firework Displays

    Well done Agamemnon, for all the work put into the Blackbrook fireworks display. The amount of organisation that has to be done re health and safety, risk assessments etc. is no mean feat and for a community organisation to take on this level of responsibility deserves credit. However, I think that this responsibility should fall on local councils and not individuals / community groups. I think fireworks use should be strictly licenced and should be for organised displays only. I don't think they should be sold to the general public. I also think that there should be only a few set days of the year when they are allowed to be used. As Ob's, I also fail to understand the need for loud bangs. (perhaps if event organisers joined forces and lobbied manufacturers for 'colour without bangs' fireworks it may persuade them to stop producing the bomb type bangs?) Organised events, such as yours, are certainly a way forward as they probably discourage people from buying fireworks for home displays, (why bother when they can see bigger, better fireworks at an event). Though I really feel that the responsibility for such events should really be borne by the local authority. I didn't go to your event Agamemnon but do appreciate the work you have done, so 'thanks' and 'well done!' to you and others who have given time and effort to provide a safe event for your community.
  9. Green Belt Under Threat - Areal View

    'legal ramifications' Oh, deary me! I really don't think, whatever is said, that WBC would mount any legal (very public) challenge - they would have to produce detailed evidence to prove that the bank wasn't failing and also prove that there were no solid grounds for anyone to have believed any 'failing' was a very likely possibility. Firstly, there would be difficulties in determining what exactly constitutes 'failing'. WBC failing to meet their often fantastical predictions re their projects is pretty commonplace. Also, the town's crap credit rating and past blunders (all described in great detail) would illustrate how very difficult it would be for anyone NOT to expect that any of WBC's projects would be failing. 'Legal ramifications' ...........................hilarious!
  10. Green Belt Under Threat - Areal View

    Why would residents of the proposed 'commuter estates' be travelling that way?
  11. Green Belt Under Threat - Areal View

    Lost enough already then haven't we! Warrington has already expanded under the 'New Town' programme - wasn't that enough for one town to take?
  12. Too important to get lost in the archive. - Answers still needed. “Green Belt homes plan is madness” By David Skentelbery on 15th August 2017 7:00 am News, Village Life OUTRAGED councillors at Appleton say they are horrified at proposals to build more than 9,000 houses on Green Belt land in South Warrington. The plans will mean that all fields in Appleton will be built over, the character of Stretton and Appleton Thorn villages and the landscape of Higher Walton will be destroyed forever, they say. Cllr Judith Wheeler (pictured) said: “It is madness to destroy beautiful countryside with some of the highest landscape value in Warrington. “If the Green Belt has to go, it should be where the land is unattractive and has no amenity value and that means not all of south Warrington. “The town would be made poorer by the loss of this countryside. It is not just local people who love their area, many from across the town appreciate the green space on their doorstep. “Just take a walk, cycle or drive through the area and you realise that putting all our fields under concrete is criminal.” Cllr Wheeler says that with the exception of the Omega development, most of northern and eastern Warrington will be largely untouched by the plans. Yet the area is equally suitable and more sustainable. “The 2017 Government White Paper on Housing states that ‘maintaining existing strong protections for the Green Belt, and clarifying that Green Belt boundaries should be amended only in exceptional circumstances when local authorities can demonstrate that they have fully examined all other reasonable options for meeting their identified housing requirements’. “There are dozens of brownfield sites in Warrington that should be developed first before turning to other areas. “Fiddlers Ferry is a potentially vast area that could contribute to Warrington’s housing needs and this does not appear to have been considered in the council’s plans. “Regenerate the town centre, make it an attractive place to visit – it isn’t at the moment. “Build on the brownfield and then, if Warrington is still an employment boom town, needing more housing, move onto the greenfield sites, put the infrastructure in and we will accept our share of housing.” Cllr Wheeler says the council talks of a “garden city” – but says she has yet to meet anyone, anywhere in Warrington, who wants the town to become a city. “A prosperous and attractive town yes, a city no.”” Positron on 15th August 2017 9:03 am 9:03 am When city status is some councillors’ mindseye there is no limit to what they will do; regardless of the aims and objectives of the people who elected them and whose interests they are supposed to represent and put into effect. It is increasingly clear there is a world of difference between what the people of Warrington want and what their supposedly elected representatives say they should have. Barbara Kandu on 16th August 2017 7:18 am 7:18 am She may not have mean’t it to sound as such but Cllr Wheeler’s quote is the best example of a NIMBY yet; “most of northern and eastern Warrington will be largely untouched by the plans. Yet the area is equally suitable and more sustainable”. In other words build anywhere except Appleton. She is obviously blissfully unaware of the 1300 houses on Omega, 1900 on Chapelford, 155 on Dawson House, 100 on Lingley Mere, 99 on Gemini – I could go on. Sankey’s character has already been lost due to mass development and roads in the area are heavily congested so its perhaps time that Appleton and Stretton took some inevitable development. Sha on 16th August 2017 1:17 pm 1:17 pm Cllr Judith Wheeler is not being a ‘nimby’, she is a political careerist playing pathetic party-political point-scoring games and all this ‘horror’ and ‘outrage’ is just hypocritical. Cllr Wheeler and fellow SW Lib Dem councillor’s ‘campaign’, ‘HCA Rethink South Warrington’, now ‘Sustainable South Warrington’, misled local residents into believing that ‘previous permissions’ given to HCA meant that the developments couldn’t be stopped and that the best people could hope for was to ensure that adequate infrastructure was included. This is total rubbish! The ‘previous permissions’ have no bearing whatsoever on the present plans submitted. Councillor Wheeler’s arguments against the developments are merely political posturing. Note in the above article she says, “not all of South Warrington” and “put the infrastructure in and we will accept our share of housing”. Who is she referring to when she says ‘we’? her political comrades perhaps but certainly not the residents of South Warrington, the majority of whom don’t want to lose any green land to housing. And, why should we? The ridiculous housing targets put forward in the draft local plan are not ‘being forced upon us by central government’ as has been implied but are merely the result of local politicians (of all parties) ‘fantastical, aspirations’ for ‘New City status’. Cllr Wheeler says she “has yet to meet anyone, anywhere in Warrington, who wants the town to become a city”. Truthfully, that should have been ‘any member of the public’ – because she will certainly have met many councillors who do crave ‘New City status’. BARBARA, do not be taken in by wily politicians. This setting up of a North / South divide is a commonly used ‘divide and rule’ tactic, it is to try to prevent the various areas of the town uniting – because united we can easily get these horrendous housing targets scrapped. There is enough land, including brownfield and plots which already have permission, to meet Warrington’s needs for housing well into the future. The ridiculously high targets in the draft plan are not needed and are certainly not wanted by the people of Warrington – and we don’t need to accept them! Don’t be fooled into believing that the proposed developments are ‘inevitable’. No greenbelt /green fields need to be lost anywhere in our town. Wherever they are they are precious, not just to the people who live close to them but to everyone, they are the ‘breathing lungs’ of our town and our survival depends on them. Cllr Steve Parish on 17th August 2017 8:27 am 8:27 am There is some confusion here. Any aspiration for Warrington to be designated a city rather than a town is not a priority for most councillors. Providing housing is. There really is not that much brownfield land left. We bemoan the loss of major manufacturing in the town – but every former steelworks is covered with housing. But the government came up last year with promoting “garden villages, towns and cities” which would get special government support. Technically the proposed area at Appleton would be a “garden village” (under 10000 homes) but the concept of garden cities is a familiar one (Hampstead, Welwyn, Letchworth) that arose from the ideas of Ebenezer Howard (Ebenezer the garden city geezer) The council has resisted greenfield development (e.g. Peel Hall) but (a) we need more housing and (b) the law is on the developers’ side. I could point out that Cllr Wheeler’s party was in government when the planning system was shredded to encourage more development, particularly housing, so “the default answer to a planning application is yes”. Positron on 17th August 2017 6:09 pm 6:09 pm It has been evident for a long time Steve, that city status has been seen as a prize worth having in the minds of some, if perhaps not all on the Council. Hasn’t Terry O’Neill been reported as keenly seeking city status for the town? He has also been reported as saying, in the context of borough wide traffic congestion, something like “Not a single house will be built until the infrastructure problems are resolved”. Most reasonable people in Warrington recognise the need for more housing, particularly affordable and social housing, but those presently living here also know from their daily journeys that the town’s infrastructure, not the individual localised infrastructures for developments scattered across the borough, has been a pressing priority for several years (decades?). Why have successive administrations pressed ahead so long approving (and apparently encouraging as you say) development after development whilst paying at best scant regard for the infrastructure? Positron on 17th August 2017 8:52 pm 8:52 pm Having just read the Local Plan Consultation documents and followed that with a very brief examination of the website, I think you should seriously reconsider your assurance Steve that any aspiration for Warrington to be designated a city rather than a town is a low priority for most councillors. The website documents contains such phrases as “Overall approach – Warrington New City…Warrington Garden City Suburb” “..delivery of Warrington New City” But any doubts on this score are dispelled in this comment: “The Council believes planning for this [the preferred option] level of growth provides a unique opportunity for Warrington to make the transition from New Town to New City…”(sic) It seems this present administration like some of its predecessors has some questions to answer. Sha on 17th August 2017 11:16 pm 11:16 pm There is no confusion here CLLR STEVE PARISH, other than that which you are trying to cause. As POSITRON has pointed out, there is ample evidence that seeking ‘City Status’ is a priority for WBC – and supported by many councillors. Providing housing is a priority – but the housing proposed is not the type of housing needed by the people of Warrington. A quick look on Rightmove will show you that there are plenty of homes up for sale & rent – the problem is that the people who need homes can’t afford them. They will be far less able to afford the £500.000 + or the ‘affordable’ £400,000 homes proposed! This “garden village” will be nothing but a dormitory estate for newcomers who work elsewhere. Re the ‘concept’ of the garden village – the ‘New Towns’ were supposed to incorporate these ideals and we all know what an off-target, cock-up became of that! You say, “the council has resisted greenfield development, e.g. Peel Hall”. I’d say, resisted up to now because if this site had been given permission then the ‘housing target’ card couldn’t be played to try to get permission on the SW sites. Peel Hall can be back on the agenda – and the ‘affordable need’ card pulled out at any time in the future. As for your trite, “the law is on the developer’s side”. You are attempting to use this as a scare tactic and like Cllr Wheeler attempting to mislead people into thinking there is no option but to accept these developments. It won’t work! I suggest you study up on recent planning policy and research recent case histories. There is no reason why the housing need of Warrington people cannot be met without encroaching on green land. There is enough brown belt sites and sites for which developers already have planning permission but have been allowed to ‘land bank’. Why don’t you just be upfront and say the real reason all of you councillors – of all parties – are so desperate to promote the building of multi-thousands of band D housing to be built? Positron on 18th August 2017 7:57 am 7:57 am The affordable housing and social housing needs to be built within the environs of Warrington, not created by funding from developers in Warrington to assist Torus’ actions in neighbouring boroughs. Positron on 18th August 2017 2:09 pm 2:09 pm Where are you Cllr Steve Parish, we’re waiting for your reply? Cllr Steve Parish on 19th August 2017 11:45 pm 11:45 pm Reply to what? You seem to know better than councillors do what we want, even what we think. Councillors have little to do the calculations of housing need (because some councillors, mentioning no names or parties, would just say not in my ward). Anyway, talking about a “city” means nothing in terms of the local plan, and for those who want to know the government guidance, here you go: To boost significantly the supply of housing, local planning authorities should: •use their evidence base to ensure that their Local Plan meets the full, objectively assessed needs for market and affordable housing in the housing market area, as far as is consistent with the policies set out in this Framework, including identifying key sites which are critical to the delivery of the housing strategy over the plan period •identify and update annually a supply of specific deliverable1 sites sufficient to provide 5 years worth of housing against their housing requirements with an additional buffer of 5% (moved forward from later in the plan period) to ensure choice and competition in the market for land. Where there has been a record of persistent under delivery of housing, local planning authorities should increase the buffer to 20% (moved forward from later in the plan period) to provide a realistic prospect of achieving the planned supply and to ensure choice and competition in the market for land •identify a supply of specific, developable sites or broad locations for growth, for years 6-10 and, where possible, for years 11-15 •for market and affordable housing, illustrate the expected rate of housing delivery through a housing trajectory for the plan period and set out a housing implementation strategy for the full range of housing describing how they will maintain delivery of a five-year supply of housing land to meet their housing target •set out their own approach to housing density to reflect local circumstances. Sha on 20th August 2017 11:46 pm 11:46 pm CLLR STEVE PARISH. Are you for real? Do you seriously expect us to believe this twisted take on the truth? You say, “talking about a “city” means nothing in terms of the local plan,” so why is the housing target set so high? As you quoted; Govt guidance ……local planning authorities should: •set out their own approach to housing density to reflect local circumstances. Warrington does not have a ‘need’ for the amount of housing proposed and most certainly no ‘need’ for the type of housing proposed for Appleton, Stretton, Grappenhall. However, WBC’s ‘approach’ is not just to deal with housing need it is geared to mass expansion to progress their aspirations to turn Warrington into a city. Central Government is not forcing mass expansion on us, it is WBC who are attempting to do that! As for your saying “Councillors have little to do (with) the calculations of housing need”. I can well believe that! but I can’t think of any reasonable excuse why they should not! We would expect that our councillors should be keeping a close eye on how housing need is calculated -to ensure that the calculations truly ‘reflect local circumstances’ and not just the aspirations of developers and members of the executive board and council officers. We would expect them to effectively scrutinise decisions. We would expect them to ensure that the public are informed of all proposals for the town’s future and to ensure that effective, public consultations are held. We would expect them to be putting in some time and effort to work for the interests of the people they are paid to represent! However, they all seem to be backing the ‘mass expansion’ plans which the vast majority of the people oppose. Now, STEVE, without any more bull****, can you just answer the question, “WHAT IS THE REAL REASON all of you councillors – of all parties – are so desperate to promote the building of multi-thousands of band D housing?”
  13. NHS moan one - walk in centre

    Less than a week to get an appointment! Gosh, you're lucky! I recently had to wait over a month to speak to my GP over the phone!
  14. Green Belt homes plan is madness

    Our new MP is not showing any signs of clashing with either - he appears to be 'sitting on the fence' - alongside all the councillors throughout the town. As for Andy Farrell, even though their 'aspirations for becoming a city' are all over the documents, he's just been in the news saying it's nothing to do with them wanting 'city status'.
  15. Green Belt homes plan is madness

    The figure given is 9,000 on actual designated green belt. This doesn't include the masses of agricultural land which will also disappear if the preferred development option is accepted. It's complete madness! - especially as the homes built will be in the council tax band D bracket! The developments would include a few 'Affordable' homes, at 20% less than market value in the area; so will start at around £400,000, which is circa 17.5 x the average salary in Warrington. Employment opportunities will be provided nearby, in the acres of warehouses (also on green belt).
  16. Green Belt homes plan is madness

    It may or may not be a consideration but not the main part. CLLR STEVE PARISH seems to have disappeared, without answering my question, "WHAT IS THE REAL REASON all of you councillors – of all parties – are so desperate to promote the building of multi-thousands of band D housing?”
  17. Green Belt homes plan is madness

    The ww news item on the extended consultation, probably most 'hot' issue in Warrington at the moment gets relegated to archives after less than 24 hours?
  18. Green Belt homes plan is madness

    The green belt boundary isn't clearly defined. The boundary of the ancient woodland isn't even clearly defined - in the above map it's chopped off at both ends! Like I said the designations on the plan are 'all to cock'. The problem with the present proposals, not just for this area but for the whole town is that 'the 'housing needs figure' has been more than doubled. It doesn't even reflect genuine housing 'need', Warrington desperately 'needs' genuinely affordable housing / social housing. None of the housing planned for Appleton is genuinely affordable. As 'affordable' is 80% of market price in the area the so called 'affordable' houses here will start at circa £400K. I don't think there is any real 'need' to sacrifice any green fields anywhere in the town as there is enough brownfield, and land which already has permission but which developers have 'land banked'. With regards to Appleton, there are enough commuter / dormitory estates of 'aspirational' housing and a lack of genuinely affordable and social housing. Still waiting for CLLR STEVE PARISH to answer my question, "WHAT IS THE REAL REASON all of you councillors – of all parties – are so desperate to promote the building of multi-thousands of band D housing?”
  19. Green Belt homes plan is madness

    For the most part, the areas outlined for development in South Warrington in the LDP proposals are designated Greenbelt. What you call 'the New Town acquisitions assigned for future release' have no designation on these WBC maps, but as small pockets of green land within greenbelt I doubt they could be treated as other than greenbelt with regard to any proposals to develop them. Any previous permissions or designations by the New Town are irrelevant to the present proposals. The New Towns programmes ended years ago and Warrington already reached it's NT growth target so there wouldn't have been any need to release this land anyway. N.B. The designations in the above map are 'all to cock' anyway!
  20. Green Belt homes plan is madness

    I think a common sense approach like that Davy51 would be understood by most people but unfortunately not by the 'powers that be'.
  21. Green Belt homes plan is madness

    Confused52 Not sure what you mean when you say "The area within the boundary of the New Town is not Green Belt according to case law." could you explain please?
  22. tunnel

    Next to the where the Friar Penketh pub has been built, directly opposite the old theatre there used to be a tiny pub. In that pub there were steps leading down to what you first might expect to be a cellar but was in fact the entrance to a tunnel. The tunnel was about 5ft high, 3ft wide with old wooden supports and about 6-8ft in was blocked off with planks of modern type wood, you could see through gaps in the planks that the tunnel went further. I saw it in the 70's. I don't find it difficult to believe that there could have been tunnels under the town at some stage, but I don't think that they would have been dug by Cromwell's men - when would they have had the time? and why would they dig them? They came here to fight not hide. Rumour has it, that there was a tunnel from the academy to the parish church. I think any tunnels would far predate these. I think it's more likely that there were tunnels from the friary and from the parish church site - where there has been some kind of a church since circa 650 - both leading to the old Motte castle. So, by using these tunnels one could get from the friary to the church. These could have been the routes to safety for the religious orders if ever the town was attacked. The old Motte castle would have been where everyone in the town would have fled to safety. As for construction, I doubt they were 'hewn from rock'. They could have been made simply by digging trenches. putting the framework in and filling in above with a foot or two of soil. The purpose of these tunnels would merely have been to get them, unseen and protected to the castle. There were probably other tunnels from the friary surfacing in different locations around the town, giving them alternative escape routes should the friary be raided. The religious orders would be obvious targets for raids, having valuable icons etc and during the persecutions, considering the brutal deaths they would suffer if caught, it would seem to me stupid of them not to have devised some form of escape routes.
  23. Green Belt homes plan is madness

    I agree Davy51. A supermarket in Golden square would not only be useful for town centre dwellers, being close to the bus station it would be useful for shoppers using public transport. But I don't think there will be much effort by WBC to encourage public transport - the massive car parks are too much of a cash cow.