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Gary

Another landmark building set to bite the dust

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Steve

 

once again you dodge the question about how much the shiny new offices are costing the tax payers of the town, while then going on to bang on about cuts once again.... if the councils budgets are being so savagely cut, where the hell is the money for new offices, furniture, IT infrastructure etc etc coming from?

 

You and your fellow councillors have no respect or desire to save any of the endangered heritage and history of the town. You are all more interested in car parks and housing that generates council tax which is then used to fund projects that have no architectural merit whatsoever. You all pander to developers and just nod everything through with a shrug of the shoulders.... The ridiculous happenings with the old Ship Inn prove that in abundance. ....Old building gets in the way, old building mysteriously falls down (despite having been stood for over a hundred years) Developer applies to put shiny new executive houses on the now vacant plot..... council agrees. Councillors blame the officers, councillors do not even try to make the developer rebuild in the style )at least) of the old building.......Developers move onto next soft target

 

You lot are more interested in pandering to your politically correct ideals and dogma about having women in every council seat than you are looking after the interests of the town and its heritage..... you should all be ashamed of yourself and if you had any morals or shame of your combined track record, you would all step down rather than wait for the Corbinistas to come and throw you out

 

I have to say that I find that incredibly hard on Steve. He's only getting it in the neck because he's got it stuck over the parapet. The real problems at the council are systematic and primarily about a bunch of councillors so in thrall to council employees and their parties they can't represent the interests of the town or its inhabitants. This might be fine if the employees weren't in the pockets (probably metaphorically) of developers. You can't appoint a man like Andy Farrall who had no regard for the heritage of a place like Chester and expect him to give a stuff about the far less important heritage of Warrington. The characterful and cultural dimension of the town is being torn down brick by brick and replaced by blandness. And when developers don't have the consent to tear down things that don't make them money, they go ahead anyway.

 

What I would like to know, and never will, is whether the decision to remove problematic buildings like The Ship Inn or the Cabinet Works has the express or tacit approval of people at the council. We can assume the council approves of it tacitly given certain statements about the decision to hand over Walton Hall and its land to a hotel chain. The only way we'd know if the council has given the demolition the nod is from a whistleblower.      

 

The whole incident teaches us again that the council holds the people of the town in contempt then acts aggrieved when that is delivered back to them. Just look at how they are hiding the costs of their new offices within the budget for the Bridge Street development (as well as the opportunity costs of using the land for revenue generation). Look at how they are using public money to give developers access to land on a floodplain then pretending it's a solution to a traffic issue. Steve isn't the problem, it's the whole organisation.    

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Was the water tower retained as a heritage attraction or has it been allowed to stay because of the technological difficulties of knocking it down when the building first became empty ? Maybe it is still with us for practical purposes.

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Thanks Davy for a reasonable question amid all the conspiracy theories. I don't know the full ownership history and can't answer for the present owners but they bought before the downturn and may have hoped someone like Urban Splash would take it on with the sort of scheme mentioned. Sadly the recession killed that off (and the rival schemes for back of Bridge st and opposite central station). Then the vandalism started in earnest. The council paid good money 2 years ago for a Masterplan that said what they thought the council wanted to hear, that all the works could be saved, but they never assessed viability. All the evidence is that councillors have wanted to save it (including me until I decided the danger, including to listed buildings as well as people, outweighed the heritage interest).

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Thanks Davy for a reasonable question amid all the conspiracy theories. I don't know the full ownership history and can't answer for the present owners but they bought before the downturn and may have hoped someone like Urban Splash would take it on with the sort of scheme mentioned. Sadly the recession killed that off (and the rival schemes for back of Bridge st and opposite central station). Then the vandalism started in earnest. The council paid good money 2 years ago for a Masterplan that said what they thought the council wanted to hear, that all the works could be saved, but they never assessed viability. All the evidence is that councillors have wanted to save it (including me until I decided the danger, including to listed buildings as well as people, outweighed the heritage interest).

 

Actually, there's no evidence that councillors have wanted to save anything. Talk is cheap and there's been very little action. Whenever a building or amenity has been saved recently, it's because local people have stood up to the council. I don't doubt that there are plenty of well intentioned councillors, but that doesn't matter when it's council employees that make the decisions; and do so knowing there is no responsibility and accountability for what those decisions mean.

 

Also, I know you all like to pretend that you're all the victims of some great conspiracy theory. The truth is that most people know that what drives the problems are cock ups, mediocre council employees, egos and a cultural bubble. The council also assumes that residents are too thick to work out why the announcement about the traveller site has been delayed, why you created some strange accounts when you wanted to give away Walton Hall, why this building has been allowed to rot, why The Ship Inn fell over, why Steve Broomhead won't say boo to Peel, why meetings with developers about planning issues are held in secret, why you're building that new bridge and why the budget for the new offices is hidden in plain sight.    

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Thanks Davy for a reasonable question amid all the conspiracy theories. I don't know the full ownership history and can't answer for the present owners but they bought before the downturn and may have hoped someone like Urban Splash would take it on with the sort of scheme mentioned. Sadly the recession killed that off (and the rival schemes for back of Bridge st and opposite central station). Then the vandalism started in earnest. The council paid good money 2 years ago for a Masterplan that said what they thought the council wanted to hear, that all the works could be saved, but they never assessed viability. All the evidence is that councillors have wanted to save it (including me until I decided the danger, including to listed buildings as well as people, outweighed the heritage interest).

 

Quote Steve; "amid all the conspiracy theories" 

That's a very revealing phrase re your attitude to the concerns of the general public Steve. 

 

Quote Steve; "Then the vandalism started in earnest"

I'd agree with you there if it was the neglect by the owners & WBC that I thought you were referring to, but I think here you are actually trying to substantiate the claim by the owners that unauthorised bodies / trespassers have caused the present damage. But there isn't any concrete proof of this, 

and even if there was a few isolated incidents over a number of years could hardly be called "in earnest"

 

Quote Steve; "The council paid good money 2 years ago for a Masterplan that said what they thought the council wanted to hear, that all the works could be saved,"

If any member of the public said such about any of the 'independent' reports that have been used as evidence to knock our heritage down you'd probably be labelling them "conspiracy theorists"!

 

Quote Steve; "All the evidence is that councillors have wanted to save it"

Bullshit!  WBC have been in consultation with the owners over the years for plans to redevelop the site - plans which don't include saving the present buildings. 

 

 Quote Steve; "(including me until I decided the danger, including to listed buildings as well as people, outweighed the heritage interest)"

Utter bullshit!  As you've posted previously, you have for some years supported demolition.

 

You seem to be trying hard to 'make a case' to support demolition. I note you have now included 'danger to listed buildings'  as well as 'danger to people', neither of which will wash. You've also mentioned in your post "viability". As I've pointed out before the profit level for developers is not a material consideration.

As someone who has sat on the planning committee you should be aware of planning law.

If the shaky excuses for demolition you are giving are what is going to be used to try to get planning approval  it would be worth the planning committee members remembering that It is the duty of each councillor on a planning committee to check the laws relevant to each application and not just rely on the advice of officers. At the end of the day full legal responsibility falls upon these committee members and having 'acted on the advice of officers' is not a valid legal excuse.

 

The renovation of the Tower, Cabinet Works and School Rooms as part of the Town Centre Regeneration Project would all be 'viable'. In fact a Town Centre Regeneration Project which wouldn't include the renovation of these buildings of historical and cultural value should perhaps be scrutinised for 'viability'.? 

 

I agree with everything Baz has said and mostly what grey-man has said excepting especially the last statement "Steve isn't the problem, it's the whole organisation."

Steve and all other councillors are all part of the organisation. They have the choice to let it run as it does or change it. As it stands they seem to be all 'sitting around whilst Rome burns!' No excuse for any of them!

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Actually, there's no evidence that councillors have wanted to save anything. Talk is cheap and there's been very little action. Whenever a building or amenity has been saved recently, it's because local people have stood up to the council. I don't doubt that there are plenty of well intentioned councillors, but that doesn't matter when it's council employees that make the decisions; and do so knowing there is no responsibility and accountability for what those decisions mean.

 

Also, I know you all like to pretend that you're all the victims of some great conspiracy theory. The truth is that most people know that what drives the problems are cock ups, mediocre council employees, egos and a cultural bubble. The council also assumes that residents are too thick to work out why the announcement about the traveller site has been delayed, why you created some strange accounts when you wanted to give away Walton Hall, why this building has been allowed to rot, why The Ship Inn fell over, why Steve Broomfield won't say boo to Peel, why meetings with developers about planning issues are held in secret, why you're building that new bridge and why the budget for the new offices is hidden in plain sight.    

 

Well said grey-man!

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Steve, this may be something you can help with.

Do you happen to know how many times the council have actually contacted the owners (PTS) regarding the state of the buildings including and contact regarding vandalism and the issues caused by vandals throwing things down into the chapel grounds etc and the dates they were contacted.

Did the council just write to them voicing their concerns or did they [the councl] actually issue any form of statutory notices and the likes other than the one I know about that I posted the photo of on on a previous page in this topic.

I believe there is also such thing as a Section 215 notice too, have the council issued one of these or do they intend to?

Also just for clarification do you have any idea regarding which parts of the building may have to come down imminently (as reported in an article on the other news pages today) as there seems to be some confusion especially concerning the old industrial school which some say has to come down simply to gain access to the bits that do actually require action.

Which one is the old industrial school? Is that the one in the chapel grounds which has pretty much fallen down anyway or the other school building that seems is quite good condition although not used for a long time and is just outside the grounds at the bottom end of the church graveyard and fronting onto Cairo Street.

If that gets knocked down then I'm sorry but something just doesn't seem right here.....
 

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Sha,

 

I really can't be bothered detailed rebuttal but

 

Quote Steve; "amid all the conspiracy theories" 

That's a very revealing phrase re your attitude to the concerns of the general public Steve.

 

No, just to the attitudes of some on this forum.

 

 Quote Steve; "(including me until I decided the danger, including to listed buildings as well as people, outweighed the heritage interest)"

Utter bullshit!  As you've posted previously, you have for some years supported demolition.

 

Well, yes – once I realised the state of the building and the danger! My big fear was arson though my fire service friends tell me it’s “low loading” – i.e. not much left that’s combustible – but all the fire service could do is let it burn (can’t go in, can’t fight it from Barbauld St in case the wall collapsed, and access from Cairo Street limited.

 

Quote Steve; "All the evidence is that councillors have wanted to save it"

Bullshit!  WBC have been in consultation with the owners over the years for plans to redevelop the site - plans which don't include saving the present buildings.

 

So why did councillors reject the demolition and car park application?  Of course the Council has consultation with owners – it’s a legal obligation – and demolition of all but the tower has been acceptable (in planning terms) for a long time. How to save the tower has been the issue (including the simple question of whether it could stand up by itself).

 

"having 'acted on the advice of officers' is not a valid legal excuse". You'd have to quote me chapter and verse on the legal responsibility of planning committee members - it's not quite how the government sees it, as if the committee turns down an application against officer advice, and the applicant wins on appeal, the likelihood is that the Council will be found to have acted unreasonably and have to pay costs (your money), and if we do it too often, the government may take away the decisions from any "democratic" intervention.

 

Dizzy,

 

The police have been called umpteen times. Despite CCTV, a good pic of two culprits, the helicopter, and dogs, no-one's been arrested. They want it down as do the fire service. Now this will annoy the conspiracy theorists but we're not saying where the immediate dangers are in case it attracts the vandals. The old industrial school is the one "that seems in quite good condition" but the operative word is "seems" as I'm told it's a wreck inside - a pity as for me it is the most interesting building on the site (with a bit of a mystery over the date on the plaque on the chimney stack - which might just be the date they built the chimney...)

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Steve

 

There are no conspiracy theorists. Just critics of the way the council is allowing the town's heritage, fabric and culture to be destroyed. If you want to head off these criticisms, you would need to show that the council protected the Cabinet Works, didn't try to give away Walton Hall and Gardens, took action over the destruction of The Ship Inn and other buildings, is protecting the Transporter Bridge and so on.     

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We haven't tried to protect all the cabinet works but have tried to save the tower - whether it was ever viable / sustainable to do so has been overtaken by events.

 

Labour in opposition objected to the Walton Hall sell off and didn't have to do much in power as the scheme proved unviable for the developer. But it would have preserved the heritage - just not with open public access.

 

No action to be taken over the Ship Inn (no evidence of anything other than unexpected and unexplained collapse). Only conspiracy theorists think otherwise!

 

We are acting to protect the bridge but it will take a lot of money to preserve a bridge with no functional use. We're hoping it will be with external funding rather than your money.

 

Since the Golden Square "clearances" (before my time in Warrington) we've lost only a handful of listed buildings and of course you don't see the routine efforts by officers (and owners by and large) to avoid inappropriate alterations to heritage buildings (e.g. I objected to PVC windows on premises on Winmarleigh St but it couldn't be enforced). Frankly, it may have been insistence on how the tower was preserved (i.e. not by dismantling and rebuilding) that made it commercially unrealistic to incorporate it in a new development around it.

 

It is nice to answer direct and reasonable questions. You would get more members on here I'm sure if suspicion, accusation, and outrageous speculation (and edge-of-libel statements) were kept in check!

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Steve.... I know there have been cuts to funding, but the link you put up to the Independent (LOL) That states the Stamford Museum is permanently closed and the Etruria Industrial Museum in Stoke-on-Trent is closed, is just wrong.... both are open and both have events listed and planned for 2016.... I even spoke to a nice chap at Etruria called Bernard who not only told me the opening days and times, but also told me in great detail how the steaming of the engine there is carried out.

 

The Botanic gardens have been closed since 2011 and the pumphouse closed in 2010... almost 2 governments ago now

 

So your sources were nearly correct.... although many of the collections have been moved to other places such as the Peak Freens collection having been moved from the pumphouse back to the biscuit factory....crumbs :)

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We haven't tried to protect all the cabinet works but have tried to save the tower - whether it was ever viable / sustainable to do so has been overtaken by events.

 

Labour in opposition objected to the Walton Hall sell off and didn't have to do much in power as the scheme proved unviable for the developer. But it would have preserved the heritage - just not with open public access.

 

No action to be taken over the Ship Inn (no evidence of anything other than unexpected and unexplained collapse). Only conspiracy theorists think otherwise!

 

We are acting to protect the bridge but it will take a lot of money to preserve a bridge with no functional use. We're hoping it will be with external funding rather than your money.

 

Since the Golden Square "clearances" (before my time in Warrington) we've lost only a handful of listed buildings and of course you don't see the routine efforts by officers (and owners by and large) to avoid inappropriate alterations to heritage buildings (e.g. I objected to PVC windows on premises on Winmarleigh St but it couldn't be enforced). Frankly, it may have been insistence on how the tower was preserved (i.e. not by dismantling and rebuilding) that made it commercially unrealistic to incorporate it in a new development around it.

 

It is nice to answer direct and reasonable questions. You would get more members on here I'm sure if suspicion, accusation, and outrageous speculation (and edge-of-libel statements) were kept in check!

 

The council could stop all the speculation it wanted if it put information into the public domain. But it doesn't. It tries to manage information and in some cases uses misdirection to ensure people don't know too much. That would be the case for the new bridge, which has the primary purpose of creating land for development but is being sold to the public on another and frankly dubious basis. It also goes for the new council offices which clearly have a budget,but one hidden in the costs of the development. 

 

The only conspiracy I've seen recently is the one about Mr Smiths, which is clearly nonsense. The rest of what we're talking about is down to incompetence, wrong priorities and feeble management. Whether you believe the Ship Inn was destroyed on purpose or not, there's no excuse for the pathetic response from the council. 

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 the  warehouse redevelopments of Liverpool and city center Manchester shows just how these old factories can be redeveloped and reused. Many of these in Manchester and Liverpool were in just as bad a condition as the cabinet works is in.

 

I still don't get if the factory is such a state why the roads are not closed around it

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 the  warehouse redevelopments of Liverpool and city center Manchester shows just how these old factories can be redeveloped and reused. Many of these in Manchester and Liverpool were in just as bad a condition as the cabinet works is in.

 

I still don't get if the factory is such a state why the roads are not closed around it

This building also has a frontage on Barbauld Street, where the access for demolition is much better than that in Cairo Street.

The Industrial School building could be left standing.

 

As Dizzy has already pointed out, what about the presence of carcinogenic asbestos in the building ?

There should be notices near this site warning people that there's a risk there.

Why hasn't this issue been addressed ?

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Dizzy,

 

The police have been called umpteen times. Despite CCTV, a good pic of two culprits, the helicopter, and dogs, no-one's been arrested. They want it down as do the fire service. Now this will annoy the conspiracy theorists but we're not saying where the immediate dangers are in case it attracts the vandals. The old industrial school is the one "that seems in quite good condition" but the operative word is "seems" as I'm told it's a wreck inside - a pity as for me it is the most interesting building on the site (with a bit of a mystery over the date on the plaque on the chimney stack - which might just be the date they built the chimney...)

Thanks for the reply Steve.  I can understand in a way the council's view on not wanting to publicise where the immediate dangers are in case it attracts vandals but in saying that and from what has been said it clearly already attracts vandals (through lack of security) otherwise we wouldn't be in this situation, having the conversation we are having, or the council/owner now having to do what they are doing.

 

Surely if the council SAID which bits they mean then we would all know and who knows it may not be as drastic as we are all expecting it to be.  They need to tell people not just play the 'top secret' game.

Of course maybe they don't want to tell people because it WILL involve a huge amount of demolition and lets face if that's the case once it starts it can't be stopped.

 

Re the old Industrial School that is now earmarked for going just to gain access yes the date 1882 on the chimney stack is a little confusing and I've often wondered about that.

Speaking of the chimney stack, the actual chimney seems to have gone some time between May 2012 and August 2014 when you look at google street view.  I wonder if it just fell down or was intentionally removed.

 

Do you happen to know what date is on the large stone plaque above the door at the side as I can't find my photo of it at the moment.

 

What I do know is that the Industrial School building was built in 1845 and extended in 1896 according to info from the Chapels open day.

 

I really hope it's not knocked down but I guess it will be and without knowing for sure there's bugger all anyone can do about it anyway.

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Does anyone know who I could contact about the gas engine? I'm a member of the Anson Engine Museum and we collect and exhibit items from our industrial past. (Remember we made things once)

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Does anyone know who I could contact about the gas engine? I'm a member of the Anson Engine Museum and we collect and exhibit items from our industrial past. (Remember we made things once)

 

I would imagine getting hold of PTS who own the buildings may be the best start

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Does anyone know who I could contact about the gas engine? I'm a member of the Anson Engine Museum and we collect and exhibit items from our industrial past. (Remember we made things once)

If it's still there (it would have been redundant maybe a century ago)...

 

If demolition is given consent, a condition on preservation of historic industrial equipment could be included. Just that one man's historic artefact is someone else's scrap (see Fiddle i' th' Bag!)

 

Dizzy, If access is urgently needed, the school would be easier to demolish than the whole of the Victoria Works (the "new" bit on Barbauld Street). We are looking at alternative to deal with the danger.

 

Incidentally, the Ship collapse was apparently down to a chimney breast collapse which took other bits with it. (Replacement housing agreed at plans committee last night. Not a replica, but very similar elevations and window positions, and appearance, i.e. rendered walls.)

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If it's still there (it would have been redundant maybe a century ago)...

 

If demolition is given consent, a condition on preservation of historic industrial equipment could be included. Just that one man's historic artefact is someone else's scrap (see Fiddle i' th' Bag!)

 

Dizzy, If access is urgently needed, the school would be easier to demolish than the whole of the Victoria Works (the "new" bit on Barbauld Street). We are looking at alternative to deal with the danger.

 

Incidentally, the Ship collapse was apparently down to a chimney breast collapse which took other bits with it. (Replacement housing agreed at plans committee last night. Not a replica, but very similar elevations and window positions, and appearance, i.e. rendered walls.)

 

Well that's alright then. A previously sound building of local historical interest suddenly collapses and a developer makes a million quid so long as they put these windows in the houses they didn't previously have consent for.

 

Now if you'll excuse me, I've noticed that I have two chimney breasts in my house and the whole damn place could come down at any moment.   

 

56839826.jpg

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Now I'm not sure but I reckon they're building two houses there instead? Or have you approved more than two?

 

Has the council issued a warning to homeowners that houses with chimney breasts just fall over? Or maybe you should warn them about whoever the builders were. Are you sure the houses they're putting up on the site are safe? I would assume not given that they managed to demolish a building while just looking at it.

 

You'll forgive us about being suspicious, won't you? What with the recent track record of the planning team for law breaking and cover ups*

 

*No conspiracy theory. Proven fact.

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