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Gary

Another landmark building set to bite the dust

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For Dizzy, the youtube video just shows what free runners do. The CCTV just means they wear balaclavas. There's always a risk of damage to buildings from the jumps themselves but most free runners are doing it for fun and danger, not intent on criminal damage and life-threatening actions. Two coping stones (and many bricks) were thrown off in July, the rest in September.  I did go the meeting.

 

Thanks Steve, like I said I just thought you may have uploaded the wrong link.  I think most people know what free runners do though :wink: 

I wouldn't have thought they would have done it in a run down building like that though.  Guess I thought wrong...

 

I wonder if all the people going in for a mooch (ie urban lot, vandals, free runners etc) realise how much asbestos there is in there they they will be coming into contact with.

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I am not a gambling man - but I would be very surprised if any of this historic building is left standing :(

A lot of value in the sale of old bricks.

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I'm with you here Gary and I'd be surprised too if any of it remains including the tower.  Chances are that even if they decided to knock all the main buildings down over time and retain the Tower something will happen to it either by way of it accidentally falling down in the process or they will simply say it's too unstable blah blah and 'unfortunately' has to go...but they 'tried' to save it.

As for there being a lot of value in the sale of old bricks.  Do you remember the lovely Edwardian Stockton Heath Primary School that over 5000 people tried to save from demolition.  Built of lovely red brick not to mention detailing bricks etc etc.  All CRUSHED on site during and after demolition was complete although some was used to infill the large old cellars prior to leveling the ground.

Terrible waste all round :(

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I don't suppose there is any possibility that the buildings could be demolished, and the tower rebuilt with the original bricks as part of any new development on the site? Wishful thinking perhaps?

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I was just having a quick read of the detailed Designs & Access Statement that was submitted in 2013 (but then withdrawn) when PTS applied for planning permission to demolish everything etc and it actually says about knocking the tower down and rebuilding it Asp.   I remember them wanting to knock it all down and it was discussed on the forum many times and of course the battle to the Tower then started but I must admit I don't actually recall it being mentioned that it would actually be rebuilt. 

I just screen printed the bit i just read...no doubt someone will tell me that I shouldn't screen print from submitted documents but I only have a PDF copy and I can't upload it or link from source as for some reason I can't find it online.

garnets%20pts%20demolition%20from%20desi

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As long as you're not as daft as I think you are you will be ok Asp :lol:   just kidding... honest

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I was just having a quick read of the detailed Designs & Access Statement that was submitted in 2013 (but then withdrawn) when PTS applied for planning permission to demolish everything etc and it actually says about knocking the tower down and rebuilding it Asp.   I remember them wanting to knock it all down and it was discussed on the forum many times and of course the battle to the Tower then started but I must admit I don't actually recall it being mentioned that it would actually be rebuilt. 

We were not told that were we?

 

Still don't get why anyone needs to go into the building to check on how safe it is

 

Loose bricks can be quickly repaired, windows bricked up, I don't get what the hurry is?

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I guess the hurry is to do something before some loose bricks fall off onto some poor unsuspecting shopper's head!

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I guess the hurry is to do something before some loose bricks fall off onto some poor unsuspecting shopper's head!

 

Then you send a man up in a crane and some cement and you secure the ones that are loose.

 

They have not closed the road or propped up the building as far as I know so the danger can not be that great.

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I'm not sure how my replies were "vague"!

 

The last application was withdrawn - frankly the idea of building a replica tower made no sense in terms of a financially viable proposal for the site, or in heritage terms.

 

"We were not told that were we?"  Yes, it was in the planning application.

 

None of the immediately dangerous bits are over the highway - they're over private property (e.g. big holes in Poundland's roof from dropped masonry - a bit of their building not used - Poundland being the old Garnett showroom). If you're talking about using a crane to deal with "loose bricks" then you know why it would cost so much. The top of the tower would have to be dismantled and rebuilt, not at all cheap at that height with access so difficult (and demolishing the other buildings around isn't easy without strengthening the tower first - on at least one face (but not all) it's tied in to the original cabinet works, which Garnett sliced into in order to build the tower). Either they gave no thought to future maintenance or just expected there would always be a steeplejack willing to risk life and limb. I'm not even sure how they got the tank up there - from the urban explorer pictures it looks as if it may be several sections welded or bolted together.

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I'm not sure how my replies were "vague"!

 

The last application was withdrawn - frankly the idea of building a replica tower made no sense in terms of a financially viable proposal for the site, or in heritage terms.

 

"We were not told that were we?"  Yes, it was in the planning application.

 

None of the immediately dangerous bits are over the highway - they're over private property (e.g. big holes in Poundland's roof from dropped masonry - a bit of their building not used - Poundland being the old Garnett showroom). If you're talking about using a crane to deal with "loose bricks" then you know why it would cost so much. The top of the tower would have to be dismantled and rebuilt, not at all cheap at that height with access so difficult (and demolishing the other buildings around isn't easy without strengthening the tower first - on at least one face (but not all) it's tied in to the original cabinet works, which Garnett sliced into in order to build the tower). Either they gave no thought to future maintenance or just expected there would always be a steeplejack willing to risk life and limb. I'm not even sure how they got the tank up there - from the urban explorer pictures it looks as if it may be several sections welded or bolted together.

 

The thing is that this may all be true, and the building beyond repair. The real problem is why the council is failing to protect the town's heritage. We know what the future of Warrington is. It will be a town devoid of any character and heritage. Bland retail parks, bland housing, bland business parks and gridlocked roads as people travel between them. Even the new Bridge Street development is basically the Halton Centre.  

 

I know the council thinks it is doing something for the town's heritage by setting up a museum to it, but what it should be doing is protecting it in the fabric of the town. It truly is revolting the way you have handed control of the town to developers. I see for example that the Council has not only allowed developers to demolish the Ship Inn which contravened the original planning consent, but is now recommending they be allowed to build two crappy 'executive homes' out of their big box of Lego instead.      

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I'm not sure how my replies were "vague"!

 

The last application was withdrawn - frankly the idea of building a replica tower made no sense in terms of a financially viable proposal for the site, or in heritage terms.

 

"We were not told that were we?"  Yes, it was in the planning application.

 

None of the immediately dangerous bits are over the highway - they're over private property (e.g. big holes in Poundland's roof from dropped masonry - a bit of their building not used - Poundland being the old Garnett showroom). If you're talking about using a crane to deal with "loose bricks" then you know why it would cost so much. The top of the tower would have to be dismantled and rebuilt, not at all cheap at that height with access so difficult (and demolishing the other buildings around isn't easy without strengthening the tower first - on at least one face (but not all) it's tied in to the original cabinet works, which Garnett sliced into in order to build the tower). Either they gave no thought to future maintenance or just expected there would always be a steeplejack willing to risk life and limb. I'm not even sure how they got the tank up there - from the urban explorer pictures it looks as if it may be several sections welded or bolted together.

 

Steve, as you say none of the so called 'immediately dangerous bits' of either the Tower or Cabinet works are over the highway so why are there talks by WBC of demolition? 

From your answers to my last post it seems there have only been a few 'incidents' and these have been spaced out over some years. From recent experience with vandalism locally I know that the police don't consider it much of an issue unless there are repeated incidents within a short space of time.  Also, the fact that you saw 'them' and 'people in the bar opposite' saw them doesn't count for much as the police have to see it themselves. You said they didn't catch anybody when they had the place surrounded - did they actually see them then? 

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We have a rebuilt academy, so rebuilding isn't beyond the bounds of possibility but seeing as the council are prepared to spend millions of pounds of taxpayers money building themselves nice new offices on Bridge Street (Care to say exactly how much of the budget is for the new offices Steve?) surely a couple of million quid to repair/restore an important feature of the towns history would be worth it.... and please don't reply with your usual "well we can do it but old folks services will suffer", or "children will go hungry".... because the money must be there now considering the frivolous amount being spent on the offices plus you haven't got to splash out a couple of million for the Youth Centre in the old Mr Smiths.... In fact, why not use the cabinet works as a youth centre and heritage centre... spend the money on something useful?

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4670412.png?type=article-full

 

This isn't the worst. You don't have to be next to the road for a pile of masonry falling from 70' to be a danger to life.

 

Baz, if you think the majority of people in the town would spend £2m or more of effectively their own money to keep this "important piece of the town's history" then I'll beg to differ. Half of them have never noticed it. And frankly, it's neither that important or that attractive (which is why it's not listed). You can say what you like about speculative developers, but if the Council hadn't been concerned about trying to save it, it would have been demolished years ago. I thought it was beyond redemption when the proposal was to demolish and put a car park on the site but my colleagues on plans committee turned it down (and PTS didn't appeal). On principle, you shouldn't allow loss of a heritage building without something good in its place, but I don't think now we've got time to think what might go on the site. £3m for the youthzone would have been for ready to open (with other funding). You'd spend well over £3m just to repair the basic fabric of these buildings (those that haven't already collapsed).  I think of Ancoats Dispensary - even Urban Splash gave up on that but Heritage Lottery Fund are willing to stump up £770k to save it. They won't save the Garnett tower. If HLF were willing to give money to save heritage in the town, the transporter bridge would be the priority.

 

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/ancoats-dispensary-saved---after-8929104

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4670412.png?type=article-full

 

This isn't the worst. You don't have to be next to the road for a pile of masonry falling from 70' to be a danger to life.

 

Baz, if you think the majority of people in the town would spend £2m or more of effectively their own money to keep this "important piece of the town's history" then I'll beg to differ. Half of them have never noticed it. And frankly, it's neither that important or that attractive (which is why it's not listed). You can say what you like about speculative developers, but if the Council hadn't been concerned about trying to save it, it would have been demolished years ago. I thought it was beyond redemption when the proposal was to demolish and put a car park on the site but my colleagues on plans committee turned it down (and PTS didn't appeal). On principle, you shouldn't allow loss of a heritage building without something good in its place, but I don't think now we've got time to think what might go on the site. £3m for the youthzone would have been for ready to open (with other funding). You'd spend well over £3m just to repair the basic fabric of these buildings (those that haven't already collapsed).  I think of Ancoats Dispensary - even Urban Splash gave up on that but Heritage Lottery Fund are willing to stump up £770k to save it. They won't save the Garnett tower. If HLF were willing to give money to save heritage in the town, the transporter bridge would be the priority.

 

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/ancoats-dispensary-saved---after-8929104

 

and the budget for the councils new offices is how much?

 

the figure I believe hasn't been publicly released now would that be also down to the fact that  if you think the majority of people in the town would spend £Xm or more of effectively their own money to put a nice shiny new roof over the heads of the councils staff and directors,  then I'll beg to differ too....

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Steve, if you think the people of Warrington would spend their own money on building new council offices then I beggar to differ.

 

Fact is that the council have bull dozed the grammar school, baths and now the cabinet works, non of these maybe are not important building from the point of view of the heritage bodies but they are important to the town of Warrington.

 

Other authorities have managed to retain their buildings.

 

It will cost to remove the cabinet works and what are you going to replace it with, nothing? Whatever goes up in its place will cost millions to build so the maths is  clearance + new build.

 

it is a building so in theory it can be repaired, realistically this won't happen but parts of of the old building (including the tower) should be retained. This won't happen either because in Warrington the council and Councillors seem to be always on the side of the developers

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and the budget for the councils new offices is how much?

 

the figure I believe hasn't been publicly released now would that be also down to the fact that  if you think the majority of people in the town would spend £Xm or more of effectively their own money to put a nice shiny new roof over the heads of the councils staff and directors,  then I'll beg to differ too....

 

It's not just the amount for the new offices but the very obvious fact they are hiding it within the budget for the whole development. This means the people paying for it may never know how much it costs. This is no accident.

 

Steve gets an unfair amount of scrutiny on here. No councillors are prepared to admit what is budgeted for these offices. Not one of our elected representatives is prepared to either reveal or question this. No doubt they'll fall back on the old excuse of marking their own homework on whether it's a good idea. Personally, I think they should get it out in the open along with other issues like the location of the traveller site. If they're so bloody confident they are doing the right things, they'll go public ahead of the elections, make their case and allow the voters to decide.  

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4670412.png?type=article-full

 

This isn't the worst. You don't have to be next to the road for a pile of masonry falling from 70' to be a danger to life.

But as you've said Steve it 'falls'. It doesn't get swept in the wind to locations all over the town!  Apply Newton's law of gravity and work out the area it could possibly fall into and fence it off.      Lots of things could 'pose a danger to life' and some have done so, such as bridges over motorways from which vandals have thrown lumps of concrete and caused pile ups and deaths. But those bridges weren't demolished. There have to date been only a few incidents at the tower, and it appears only one that has, possibly, been witnessed by the police and said to have been due to trespassers. There have been no recorded injuries or deaths. Health and safety laws require only that sufficient preventative steps have been taken, fencing off and putting clear signs up would fulfil the obligations of those responsible for the site. 

Why are WBC so obsessed with 'possible' dangers here?  When people report a road as dangerous to life, before WBC's highways department will act there is a long winded process during which there has to be sufficient evidence such as repeated accidents, deaths etc.  If they spent more time making the highways safe instead of wasting time and resources on developers interests they might actually prevent actual dangers to life.    

 

Baz, if you think the majority of people in the town would spend £2m or more of effectively their own money to keep this "important piece of the town's history" then I'll beg to differ. Half of them have never noticed it. And frankly, it's neither that important or that attractive (which is why it's not listed).

Not really the "water tower aficionado" that you claim to be Steve!  

You seem to think that you know better than Baz what the people of the town think.  Well I beg to differ, I think Baz's opinions are far closer to general public opinion than yours or any of the town's councillors.  Have lessons not been learned over the skittles fiasco?  What a waste of money they were and in fact still are , how much is it they cost for cleaning?  And on the subject of the  town centre additions which appeared alongside the skittles - those sharp edged stone seats are accidents waiting to happen.  

        

You can say what you like about speculative developers, but if the Council hadn't been concerned about trying to save it, it would have been demolished years ago.

As I remember, it was the efforts of a local historian in providing evidence of the Tower's historical importance that saved it from demolition. 

 

I thought it was beyond redemption when the proposal was to demolish and put a car park on the site but my colleagues on plans committee turned it down (and PTS didn't appeal). On principle, you shouldn't allow loss of a heritage building without something good in its place,

Actually the presumption must be firstly in favour of retaining the heritage building and bringing it back into use. Only when it has been proved that there is no possible alternative use or the building is completely beyond repair should 'something in it's place' be even considered. Obviously PTS didn't appeal the decision because they wouldn't have had a chance in hell of being successful. Unbelievable that you would consider a car park to be 'something good in it's place'.

Since then PTS  have left the building to rot, it appears in an attempt to get it to fall into the completely beyond repair category. This 'negligence for profit' course of action has not gone unnoticed and recent case history is showing that it is no longer going unchecked.  

With regard to any request by the developer to demolish the Cabinet Works & Tower I think WBC really need to be careful as any 'questionable'  demolition would, especially after the recent losses of Mr Smiths and the Ship Inn, be very unpopular with the general public. Especially unpopular would be the loss of the little Sunday School building - there are many Warrington people with very happy memories of riding to Lapland on Santa's train.  

 

but I don't think now we've got time to think what might go on the site.

From some of the links posted on here it's obvious that WBC have, with the owners/ developers, already spent a great deal of time (years in fact) thinking what might go on the site - even though during those years the presumption should have been in favour of retaining the heritage buildings. 

 

£3m for the youthzone would have been for ready to open (with other funding). You'd spend well over £3m just to repair the basic fabric of these buildings (those that haven't already collapsed).

You know the costs do you? can you share the facts and figures? Or is this just councillor speak?

Whatever, lack of profit for the developer is not a material consideration when deciding either whether or not to demolish or what would be a viable alternative development.

 

  I think of Ancoats Dispensary - even Urban Splash gave up on that but Heritage Lottery Fund are willing to stump up £770k to save it. They won't save the Garnett tower. (do you know that for sure?) If HLF were willing to give money to save heritage in the town, the transporter bridge would be the priority.

Another example of you passing off your personal opinions as fact.

The representative from HLF who came to Warrington recently actually gave information on the current interest in industrial buildings being brought back into use rather than being demolished. 

I think the Cabinet Works could be turned into an industrial museum -that would certainly tick all the boxes for sustainable development etc etc etc.  

 

 Warrington is not going to look good in the eyes of the funders if they just sit back whilst this piece of our industrial heritage is destroyed. They might end up losing a lot more than £3m.  

 

 

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I'm really not going to respond to all that but if you think an industrial museum would be "sustainable" (in paying for itself) I'm sorry that's fantasy. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/brutal-cuts-force-uk-museums-to-close-their-doors-7902934.html

 

As a "water tower aficionado" I suggest you google for images of Victorian water towers to see really interesting and attractive towers - don't forget that below what's visible, our tower loses the fancy masonry and the bottom half is just stock brick. As for cost, it's an intelligent guess (but based on officers' and my own experience of repairs to heritage buildings). 12 years ago the water tower from St Pancras station was moved and rebuilt - brick by brick would have risked damage and they managed to chop it into horizontal sections to move it - the bottom section is a replica.

 

. watertower.jpg

 

Only 20 feet high  - and to move it cost £900,000 12 years ago.

 

24-Waterpoint-Lift.jpg

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I'm really not going to respond to all that but if you think an industrial museum would be "sustainable" (in paying for itself) I'm sorry that's fantasy. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/brutal-cuts-force-uk-museums-to-close-their-doors-7902934.html

 

As a "water tower aficionado" I suggest you google for images of Victorian water towers to see really interesting and attractive towers - don't forget that below what's visible, our tower loses the fancy masonry and the bottom half is just stock brick. As for cost, it's an intelligent guess (but based on officers' and my own experience of repairs to heritage buildings). 12 years ago the water tower from St Pancras station was moved and rebuilt - brick by brick would have risked damage and they managed to chop it into horizontal sections to move it - the bottom section is a replica.

 

. watertower.jpg

 

Only 20 feet high  - and to move it cost £900,000 12 years ago.

 

24-Waterpoint-Lift.jpg

 

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

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I'm really not going to respond to all that but if you think an industrial museum would be "sustainable" (in paying for itself) I'm sorry that's fantasy. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/brutal-cuts-force-uk-museums-to-close-their-doors-7902934.html

 

As a "water tower aficionado" I suggest you google for images of Victorian water towers to see really interesting and attractive towers - don't forget that below what's visible, our tower loses the fancy masonry and the bottom half is just stock brick. As for cost, it's an intelligent guess (but based on officers' and my own experience of repairs to heritage buildings). 12 years ago the water tower from St Pancras station was moved and rebuilt - brick by brick would have risked damage and they managed to chop it into horizontal sections to move it - the bottom section is a replica.

 

OK lets see, entered into Google Victorian Water towers in Warrington - no images of water towers comes up, apart from the one we are talking about never mind anything more interesting or attractive. You will have to help us out by providing links and maybe addresses were these water towers that can be found in Warrington.

 

Never mind we can always go and see the control tower at Burtonwood or the tower were winwick hospital was, Oh no the council have bulldozed them too!

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