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Gary

Another landmark building set to bite the dust

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Oh no it doesn't.

 

Without getting all panto, yes it does. A number of cases have already been cited on this thread and we have two running at the moment. We'd have even more if local people hadn't stood up to the council.

 

I note, by the way that you are refusing to address the possible reasons why Andy Farrall hasn't enforced his own notices on The Cabinet Works site.   

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I'm not making excuses because so far as I can see the developers (for the Ship Inn) haven't done anything wrong. The workmen in the building weren't doing anything unusual, or that would cause a collapse, and had no warning and were lucky to escape injury. If anyone knows different, go to the police.

As to Ancoats, if there had been a cabinet works preservation society ... but the Ancoats mills are far more important heritage buildings (grade 2*) and it was the NWDA (now abolished) that CPOd them and gave a grant.

 

Re enforcement, PTS did what was requested, but (we're just repeating stuff now) to stop access off and through roofs is impossible.

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Ah yes. The old 'if you know different'. The same excuse that was made at the time of the planning records destruction and other cases.

 

Nobody is saying that anyway Steve. What we're saying is the council has an appalling track record of protecting the town's heritage and it would have been a lot worse if the people of the town hadn't intervened and embarrassed the council at various points. 

 

You have created a wild west environment and developers know it. The collapse of the Ship Inn may have been an accident, but the suspicions about it are a direct consequence of your organisation's dereliction of its duties over many years, not to mention its culture of secrecy and misdirection.  

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Re enforcement, PTS did what was requested, but (we're just repeating stuff now) to stop access off and through roofs is impossible.

Do you happen to know exactly what PTS were requested to do Steve and what they did?   

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Grey_man, so long as you're accepting that there's no evidence for any wrongdoing by developer or council over the Ship Inn, I'll accept the obvious that the Council hasn't always protected the town's heritage (e.g. someone else can tell us what Golden Square lost in terms of heritage assets, it's long before my time in Warrington). But the Ship Inn is actually a good example of the current process. It was a non-designated heritage asset. It didn't have the protection of being statutorily listed, so the legal presumption is that it could be pulled down - to retain it, you'd have to do the exercise that "a balanced judgement will be required having regard to the scale of any harm or loss and the significance of the heritage asset" and conclude that its significance is enough to refuse demolition and to sustain that at appeal. In this case, there seems to have been no problem getting the developer to retain it and convert it to dwellings.

 

But accidents do happen, and empty buildings are obviously at risk of damage and arson and simple deterioration. http://www.wigantoday.net/news/local/historic-building-destroyed-in-arson-attack-1-6999430. The comments look vaguely familiar....   And I have to say that secrecy and even misdirection become quite attractive when full disclosure just leads to people picking up on tiny details...  This would have been a short thread without my mission to explain, so here goes with some more:

 

Dizzy, PTS have spent a lot of money trying to stop people getting in, but I'm not asking for a list. It's possible they could have done more, but when the urban explorers talk about the "Tomb Raider" way of getting in, and trespassers are risking injury or death to get in, and erecting their own ladders to get past the broken stairwell in the tower, I'm afraid "boarding up" doesn't quite cut it - and the government guidance is that urgent repairs should not involve the owner in great expense, and ultimately it comes back to the Government in the person of the Secretary of State. If the Council used its powers (for a listed building, and the Cabinet Works is not listed) the Council could spend your money doing repairs and then claim off the owner but:

 

"The owner may challenge the cost claimed by writing to the Secretary of State. The grounds of challenge may be that:

  1. Some or all of the works were unnecessary for the preservation of the building.
  2. Temporary support and shelter measures have continued for an unreasonable length of time.
  3. The amount reclaimed is unreasonable.
  4. Recovery of the amount claimed would cause the owner hardship."

The Sec of State could declare that the urgent works provisions also apply to an unlisted building in a conservation area (the tower maybe, not the whole works) "if the preservation of the building is important for maintaining the character or appearance of the conservation area". My understanding is that would usually mean that without the building, it might not be worth having a conservation area.

 

In short, the developer could refuse to do urgent works, then the Council could do it, and spend a lot of money (with no guarantee that it solves the problem) and not get it back. Bottom line is how much of council tax money is it "reasonable" to spend on temporary repair of a building that, even without the recent deliberate destruction, would struggle to get a viable alternative use.

 

EDITED:  it may be that the legislation for dealing with any dangerous building (not just listed buildings) is more appropriate (Building Act 1984) but then it will be the court deciding what happens, not the Council.

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Grey_man, so long as you're accepting that there's no evidence for any wrongdoing by developer or council over the Ship Inn, I'll accept the obvious that the Council hasn't always protected the town's heritage (e.g. someone else can tell us what Golden Square lost in terms of heritage assets, it's long before my time in Warrington). But the Ship Inn is actually a good example of the current process. It was a non-designated heritage asset. It didn't have the protection of being statutorily listed, so the legal presumption is that it could be pulled down - to retain it, you'd have to do the exercise that "a balanced judgement will be required having regard to the scale of any harm or loss and the significance of the heritage asset" and conclude that its significance is enough to refuse demolition and to sustain that at appeal. In this case, there seems to have been no problem getting the developer to retain it and convert it to dwellings.

 

But accidents do happen, and empty buildings are obviously at risk of damage and arson and simple deterioration. http://www.wigantoday.net/news/local/historic-building-destroyed-in-arson-attack-1-6999430. The comments look vaguely familiar....   And I have to say that secrecy and even misdirection become quite attractive when full disclosure just leads to people picking up on tiny details...  This would have been a short thread without my mission to explain, so here goes with some more:

 

Dizzy, PTS have spent a lot of money trying to stop people getting in, but I'm not asking for a list. It's possible they could have done more, but when the urban explorers talk about the "Tomb Raider" way of getting in, and trespassers are risking injury or death to get in, and erecting their own ladders to get past the broken stairwell in the tower, I'm afraid "boarding up" doesn't quite cut it - and the government guidance is that urgent repairs should not involve the owner in great expense, and ultimately it comes back to the Government in the person of the Secretary of State. If the Council used its powers (for a listed building, and the Cabinet Works is not listed) the Council could spend your money doing repairs and then claim off the owner but:

 

"The owner may challenge the cost claimed by writing to the Secretary of State. The grounds of challenge may be that:

  1. Some or all of the works were unnecessary for the preservation of the building.
  2. Temporary support and shelter measures have continued for an unreasonable length of time.
  3. The amount reclaimed is unreasonable.
  4. Recovery of the amount claimed would cause the owner hardship."

The Sec of State could declare that the urgent works provisions also apply to an unlisted building in a conservation area (the tower maybe, not the whole works) "if the preservation of the building is important for maintaining the character or appearance of the conservation area". My understanding is that would usually mean that without the building, it might not be worth having a conservation area.

 

In short, the developer could refuse to do urgent works, then the Council could do it, and spend a lot of money (with no guarantee that it solves the problem) and not get it back. Bottom line is how much of council tax money is it "reasonable" to spend on temporary repair of a building that, even without the recent deliberate destruction, would struggle to get a viable alternative use.

 

I'll accept there's no evidence of wrongdoing, but there wouldn't be if the building was demolished. I won't accept that the council is blameless when it comes to this kind of thing because it isn't. As I've said before, if I were a developer I'd love to work in a town like Warrington, knowing you can do as you like and the council will go along with it. Witness Satnam currently lying their arses off about Peel Hall and the council's own attempt to sell the development to the people of Warrington on the basis of the provision of sports pitches they already own.  

 

With regards to the Ship Inn, the council should learn a lesson and instead turn its attention to the way the Cabinet Works has been allowed to decay and the mendacity of Satnam with regards to the Peel Hall development. Personally, I don't think there is any reason to trust the planning team under Andy Farrall to do anything that goes against the objectives of developers, however much they plot and lie. Pretty soon we'll be left with a perfectly bland town with fewer green spaces, gridlocked roads and a museum to the time Warrington had its own character.  

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Dizzy, PTS have spent a lot of money trying to stop people getting in, but I'm not asking for a list. It's possible they could have done more, but when the urban explorers talk about the "Tomb Raider" way of getting in, and trespassers are risking injury or death to get in, and erecting their own ladders to get past the broken stairwell in the tower, I'm afraid "boarding up" doesn't quite cut it - and the government guidance is that urgent repairs should not involve the owner in great expense, and ultimately it comes back to the Government in the person of the Secretary of State. If the Council used its powers (for a listed building, and the Cabinet Works is not listed) the Council could spend your money doing repairs and then claim off the owner but:

 

"The owner may challenge the cost claimed by writing to the Secretary of State. The grounds of challenge may be that:

  1. Some or all of the works were unnecessary for the preservation of the building.
  2. Temporary support and shelter measures have continued for an unreasonable length of time.
  3. The amount reclaimed is unreasonable.
  4. Recovery of the amount claimed would cause the owner hardship."

The Sec of State could declare that the urgent works provisions also apply to an unlisted building in a conservation area (the tower maybe, not the whole works) "if the preservation of the building is important for maintaining the character or appearance of the conservation area". My understanding is that would usually mean that without the building, it might not be worth having a conservation area.

 

In short, the developer could refuse to do urgent works, then the Council could do it, and spend a lot of money (with no guarantee that it solves the problem) and not get it back. Bottom line is how much of council tax money is it "reasonable" to spend on temporary repair of a building that, even without the recent deliberate destruction, would struggle to get a viable alternative use.

Thanks for the reply Steve.  It would be interesting to know what they have actually done though and may even convince some of us that they [PTS] have really tried.

 

You say that you 'are not asking for a list'.  Does a list exist then and do the council have a copy or do you mean you're not going to ask PTS for a list.

If the council do have one maybe they could give the Civic Society a copy or I'll ask the council for a copy but chances are they wouldn't give it to me unless I asked under a FOI which takes time.

 

I understand what you are saying about the Sec of State.

 

One thing that does concern me is that you have also said that boarding it up clearly hasn't worked so to me it sounds like you are saying nothing will work regardless of whatever measures the council/developers are about to take to make it safer for now.  You imply that the problems will still persist so to me that means until the WHOLE LOT is demolished.

 

Are they still planning on knocking the old school building down that's just outside the church grounds to gain access from the Cairo Street side or have they (hopefully) changed their minds about that now?

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I've amended the post about process above as there may be some use of the dangerous building provisions of the 1984 Building Act.

 

That would mean that, while not technically "sub judice", I probably should refrain from saying more to avoid any sense of prejudging a case that may go to court.

 

So - unless there's something non-prejudicial to say - I'll "go silent", after telling Dizzy - yes I'm afraid the industrial school is still the route to where urgent repairs are needed. That would have been the only building on the site that I'd now want to save (for its history as much as its appearance) but there's not much left of the interior. 

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Noooooo..surely not !!! :(  I was hoping that they had changed their minds and would access the site from the Barbauld Street as that has an access passage.
To be honest as much as I'd love the whole cabinet works to be saved and turned into something else if push comes to shove then my mayor concern is not loosing the tower or the old Industrial Schoool building :(

Looking at the aerial drone footage posted further back (done by Digata) then unless I'm completely mistaken surely knocking down the old Industrial school will only give slightly better access to the crumbling remains of the building within the Cairo Street Chapel grounds and nothing else.
As most of that building has already fallen down then surely there is a way of taking the rest down without the need for knocking the old school building down. 

I'm shocked and bloody annoyed again now :evil: :evil:

 

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I forgot to mention that I came across this earlier when I was googling and it's dated 31 March 2011 and is objection from the Warrington Arts Council and others as part of a planning application to demolish.

I'm only half way through reading as I keep getting sidetracked but it mentions structural survey, failures, various actions the council should/could take etc....... and so far a VERY good read and again making me wonder why nothing has been done since 2011 !!!

http://myplanning.warrington.gov.uk/Planning/StreamDocPage/obj.pdf?DocNo=7455120&PageNo=1&content=obj.pdf

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Well maybe they should carefully demolish the old school with the view that it be rebuilt once the tower etc has been disposed of. if they can move a whole building then surely they can demolish and rebuild the school maintaining the current style and maybe put it to good use such as a youth centre seeing as the abc site is no longer available for same.

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I'm not making excuses because so far as I can see the developers (for the Ship Inn) haven't done anything wrong. The workmen in the building weren't doing anything unusual, or that would cause a collapse, and had no warning and were lucky to escape injury. If anyone knows different, go to the police.

 

As to Ancoats, if there had been a cabinet works preservation society ... but the Ancoats mills are far more important heritage buildings (grade 2*) and it was the NWDA (now abolished) that CPOd them and gave a grant.

 

Re enforcement, PTS did what was requested, but (we're just repeating stuff now) to stop access off and through roofs is impossible.

 

Far more important to who, because it is not important to some south based organization does not mean it is not important to the people of Warrington, can you not understand this?

 

However I was using Ancoats as an example of what can be achieved both in reusing buildings and in working in partnership, it is not important were the grants come from.

 

 

Well maybe they should carefully demolish the old school with the view that it be rebuilt once the tower etc has been disposed of. if they can move a whole building then surely they can demolish and rebuild the school maintaining the current style and maybe put it to good use such as a youth centre seeing as the abc site is no longer available for same.

 

There have been many many cases of moving buildings. I recall the last runway being built at Manchester and they relocated a grade 1 building

 

The problem here it is far cheaper to pull the building down and stick up a new one then keep the present one.

 

The council could help with a grant but they would rather put up new council offices and more traffic lights

 

Business men and politicians without hearts or souls are at work here

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There have been many many cases of moving buildings. I recall the last runway being built at Manchester and they relocated a grade 1 building

 

The problem here it is far cheaper to pull the building down and stick up a new one then keep the present one.

Given the councils record on moving buildings it would be better to demolish and rebuild. The G******ian offices being the one example. Moved and then almost fell down so completely rebuilt keeping a few of the old bricks and some wood beams so they could say it was still original.

 

what i was suggesting is that they rebuild the old school as it is now and not just some brick box with a glass frontage.

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Give them a little credit davy tuesday at earliest as they have to get in on monday and spend the day getting their excuses straight then it will be a car park. :ph34r::roll:

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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 ?

 

Dizzy, do yo know if asbestos is present in the building?

 

The works were built before asbestos started to be wildly used in the 1920s.

 

Does anyone know of any history on the works, I know it used to be used by Woolies as a store for a while

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That was then, based on a ridiculously optimistic consultant's "masterplan" that (1) couldn't even get the dates of the buildings right and (2) never addressed the viability of converting the existing buildings. Contrary to the general impression on here, they told councillors what they thought they wanted to hear, that all the buildings could be saved.

 

Dizzy will be pleased to know that the industrial school didn't have to be demolished to get at the chimney that needed to be taken down. Whether it's just a temporary reprieve is another matter. http://www.warrington-worldwide.co.uk/2016/02/15/council-praised-and-urged-to-preserve-historic-cabinet-works/

 

It was a bit odd as I'm in the photo and everyone else wants to save it (well, I would, but just think it's unrealistic and it's too dangerous to wait for some unlikely financial package of rescue).

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 Whether it's just a temporary reprieve is another matter. 

 

Steve, you really are a little ray of sunshine when it comes to some of your comments

 

Remind me again how you managed to survive "Labours Night of the Long Knives" 

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Remind me again how you managed to survive "Labours Night of the Long Knives" 

 

He didn't he was deselected from his Bewsey and Whitecross ward but is now a fiercely loyal (if less nailed on) candidate for Chapelford and Old Hall.  

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