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Sha

Warrington is being destroyed!

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I don't think it's just the hall that has been seriously singed, the reputation of Urban Splash has been very seriously blackened. Bewsey Old Hall has lasted for centuries, yet within weeks of Urban Splash taking ownership parts of it are forever destroyed. As well as the ongoing investigations into the fire, questions must surely be asked about their fitness as custodians of any heritage buildings!

Will the smoke ever clear over this one - I very much doubt it.

 

Also, Boris, (alledgidly - as Diz puts it) the rethink over enabling development had begun long before the fire! I had heard that the apartment plans had been scrapped - due to poor sales in this type of accomodation and that UB were considering alternative types of enabling developments - nearer to the hall.

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I don't think it's just the hall that has been seriously singed, the reputation of Urban Splash has been very seriously blackened. Bewsey Old Hall has lasted for centuries, yet within weeks of Urban Splash taking ownership parts of it are forever destroyed. As well as the ongoing investigations into the fire, questions must surely be asked about their fitness as custodians of any heritage buildings!

Will the smoke ever clear over this one - I very much doubt it.

 

Also, Boris, (alledgidly - as Diz puts it) the rethink over enabling development had begun long before the fire! I had heard that the apartment plans had been scrapped - due to poor sales in this type of accomodation and that UB were considering alternative types of enabling developments - nearer to the hall.

 

I'm a bit surprised at this alleged rethink ! As far as I am aware the fate of the Old Hall was finally decided in September 2009 at the public enquiry which gave the go ahead to UB to proceed with their developement and sbsequently the only thing slowing proceedings down was the transfer of the bats to their new roost which was built last Winter. I cannot imagine an enabling developemnt any nearer to the Old Hall as the original was on adjacent land. I couldn't guess where the bats have gone. I must check my attic !!

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A nasty slur on Urban Splash's reputation, especially given their excellent record on using previously unwanted listed buildings. But so much for "all those mysterious fires in listed buildings" - just one, it seems, and that's not that particularly mysterious, just no culprit yet found.

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A nasty slur on Urban Splash's reputation, especially given their excellent record on using previously unwanted listed buildings. But so much for "all those mysterious fires in listed buildings" - just one, it seems, and that's not that particularly mysterious, just no culprit yet found.

 

 

The old Primary school building in Church Street. Grade 2 listed. - Burned down - Now houses.

 

Bewsey old hall. - Listed - Nearly burnt down- "just no culprit yet found."

 

Also not burnt down but: -

 

Bay horse inn - Winwick Street - "Accidentally" knocked down.

 

I’m sure there are more and I will post when I remember.

 

Also buildings that were not listed but held local pride that stood in the way of development, then burnt down.

 

Others and I do not believe these were coincidences.

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The Castle on Mote Hill burnt down in Warrington in 1260.

 

It was built in 1070 and situated behind St Elphins Parish Church. Does that count ? :lol:

 

Ok so the only relevance is that it was the home of the Boteler's until they moved to Bewsey Old Hall in the 13th century :wink:

 

Wasn't there a pub on Farrell Street (or near there) that burnt down and left the way open for the owner to build a housing development ?

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The Castle on Mote Hill burnt down in Warrington in 1260.

 

It was built in 1070 and situated behind St Elphins Parish Church. Does that count ? :lol:

 

 

Yes, they built a housing estate there. :lol:

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The old Boteler Grammar School which was knocked down after decades of neglect by the council and turned into an access road for more houses....

 

That really was a shameful decision and one which should have signalled the end of career to whichever councillors agreed with it

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Wasn't there a pub on Farrell Street (or near there) that burnt down and left the way open for the owner to build a housing development ?

 

 

The Missippi Showboat. The garages next to it got burned down, arson, and my son's two dogs got burned alive. The pub was damaged and got demolished eventually, but NO building and I have not heard whether there has been an application to build.

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Oooh Peter how I wish I had not asked now and sorry as that must have stirred up some awful memories for you and awful to read that ... those poor dogs. :cry::cry:

 

Did they ever catch who did it :cry:

 

I think I may have been confusing that one with another similar one that burnt down but got built on. Seems somewhat unimportant now after reading that though. :|

 

Sorry.

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The old Primary school building in Church Street. Grade 2 listed. - Burned down - Now houses.

 

Bewsey old hall. - Listed - Nearly burnt down- "just no culprit yet found."

 

The National School facade is still there. I'll take your word for it that the rest burned down.

 

So in 60 years of having listed builings, Warrington - which has 350 listed buildings - has in fact had none completely destroyed by fire, mysterious or otherwise.

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Oooh Peter how I wish I had not asked now and sorry as that must have stirred up some awful memories for you and awful to read that ... those poor dogs. :cry::cry:

 

Did they ever catch who did it :cry:

 

I think I may have been confusing that one with another similar one that burnt down but got built on. Seems somewhat unimportant now after reading that though. :|

 

Sorry.

 

NOT a problem, it was some years ago. Life moves on. The worry at the time, was that my lad wasn't answering his phone and for a couple of days I was frantic trying to find out whether he was ok or not.

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A nasty slur on Urban Splash's reputation, especially given their excellent record on using previously unwanted listed buildings. But so much for "all those mysterious fires in listed buildings" - just one, it seems, and that's not that particularly mysterious, just no culprit yet found.

 

“Urban Splash's reputation” – now that’s a somewhat controversial subject isn’t it?

 

Vic, if you just spare a few moments to browse the internet, you will find that Urban Splash's reputation is actually highly debatable.

You will find many like my-self who do not hold that particular Development Company in any high esteem. Whilst additionally, you will others who like yourself think they are the ‘Bees Bl**dy Knees’.

You will also find Vic, that the majority of those who hold the same opinion as me are ordinary members of the public or community groups who are suffering a loss of their heritage due to Urban Splash’s business interests.

Of those I noted who held a similar opinion to yourself, I found that they were, in the main, either Urban Splash themselves,(numerous examples) Architects who have previous and perhaps hope to have future, contracts with them; Developers / Contractors who have close business / financial interests in common with them and quite a variety of Local Councils who also have business / financial interests in common with them.

 

You suggest I have made “A nasty slur on Urban Splash's reputation,

 

I have merely given an opinion of the damage which must have been done to the reputation of a company who, have promoted themselves as a very professional and responsible company in whose hands many previously publicly owned buildings have been entrusted.

Urban Splash, apparently pay great detail to fire safety issues in the design of their buildings, do you not think that the destruction by fire of a valuable heritage asset entrusted to their safekeeping could not be a source of some great embarrassment to them? Do you not think that this incident might not make people think a little more carefully before passing over our heritage into their care? I do, but if you don’t, then we must agree to differ.

I feel that the utmost of care should have been given to prevent any damage to Bewsey Old Hall. It is a Grade 2 * listed building, much valued by the people of Warrington.

I also feel that questions should be asked, not only of Urban Splash re their failure to ensure sufficient protection but additionally of The Homes and Communities Agency (formerly English Partnership) re their duty to ensure that the company it passed this heritage asset to had sufficient safeguards in place.

 

You have attempted to qualify your assertions by adding; “………especially given their excellent record on using previously unwanted listed buildings.”

Firstly, our heritage assets are not ‘unwanted’ by the general public! If they were would there be such outcry at their loss? Unfortunately, they increasingly often appear unwanted to our public representatives who seem unwilling to put any real effort into securing their remaining in public ownership. The solution to any difficulties in ensuring their preservation is too often to offload the responsibility by selling them off to the highest bidder – or even giving them away!

 

Secondly, as with their reputation the standard of UB’s ‘record’ is debatable, depending on an observer’s viewpoint. The ‘heritage conservation’ projects – in which they have totally gutted the interior of the building, and built within the retaining walls what I would describe as ‘cheap tat’ are not my idea of ‘conservation’ so I wouldn’t even rate them as ‘satisfactory’! So obviously our opinions differ re UB’s record.

 

As you must be already aware of my opinions from my previous posts I must question, what is the real point of your post Vic?

Was the word “nasty” chosen to give the impression that I had been somewhat ‘unkind’ and that my viewpoint was ‘unfair’? Were your following words, “….especially given their excellent record on using previously unwanted listed buildings,” meant to portray UB as some kind of altruistic protector of Britain’s heritage in an attempt to deflect any public criticism?

If that was your intention Vic then I’m afraid your words have fallen on deaf ears!

I could no more be persuaded to regard UB as having altruistic aims as I could be convinced that pigs could fly!

 

Urban Splash is no altruistic benefactor! Throughout the country they have acquired previously publicly owned heritage buildings at vastly reduced rates. The ‘Heritage’ status factor has enabled them to have easy access to various sources and vast amounts of public funds and heritage grants, whilst local councils have oiled the wheels of the planning and development process. Urban Splash have built an extremely profitable business, whilst the public who have in fact provided the buildings and much of the funding has lost both access and ownership.

 

With regard to previous posters comments on the increasing frequency of ‘mysterious’ arson attacks on listed buildings, - which you have attempted to play down by adding;

“But so much for "all those mysterious fires in listed buildings - just one, it seems, and that's not that particularly mysterious, just no culprit yet found”.

 

As I think that your comment was in direct relation to UB’s reputation and record, again I refer you to the internet where you will find that you are in fact mistaken, Bewsey Old Hall is not the only building that has been fire damaged whilst in the ‘care’ of Urban Splash.

The only truth in your last sentence is “….no culprit yet found”.

 

Recently, in response to concern over increasing numbers of our heritage buildings being destroyed by arson attacks, many ‘mysteriously’ linked to development plans, special investigative bodies have been set up. Arson attacks on our heritage will no longer be put on file as cases unsolved but will be keenly and thoroughly investigated.

So hopefully a culprit will be found and dealt with in the appropriate manner!

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I really can't be bothered addressing all Sha's points in that rant against Urban Splash. But the key is in "Throughout the country they have acquired previously publicly owned heritage buildings at vastly reduced rates". Precisely my point - they've taken on buildings no one else knew what to do with and got them back into use. True, they've now given up on the Ancoats Dispensary in Manchester (which they'd happily sell to you for a quid after spending £1.2 million on it) after the abolition of the NWDA and loss of the expected grants. But at least they've gone and done the work to get the grants. As Tom Bloxham once said, "It's marvellous what you can do with a bit of imagination and £13 million in government grants".

 

Sha's misread what I said about fires to listed buildings in Warrington, but so far as I know only the Cob o Coal pub in Manchester has been lost to fire while in the care of Urban Splash. Sha should be careful not to get felt by their solicitors for the insinuations.

 

Anyway, shock horror, on this week's planning list they've put in a planning application to replace the burnt-out roof at Bewsey Old Hall farmhouse though no doubt the "permanent internal structural alterations" will displease the preservation in aspic contingent.

 

For the record, here's Tom Bloxham's self-justifying submission to Parliament on what to do with listed buildings. I leave it to unbiased readers to judge their record. (And let's face it - there's no Plan B for Bewsey Old Hall.) http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200304/cmselect/cmodpm/47/47we58.htm

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Vic, there’s no real point in you attempting to address any of the points I made as you are so blinded by your own bias that any reasoned argument would be impossible.

In fact your bias is so strong that I believe you must be a councillor.

Perhaps one of the councillors who, despite the marvelous things you can do with a bit of imagination and £13 million in government grants couldn’t take on the buildings and get them back into use?

 

It is not true to say that no one else knew what to do with Bewsey Old Hall. There was a very active community group who had extremely good ideas – to restore the Hall for the benefit of the people of Warrington in tandem with Arena housing who offered a social housing scheme - again to benefit people of Warrington.

English Partnerships and it seems WBC, wanted the Urban Splash scheme.

 

It doesn’t appear to me that a plan B was ever really and truly considered.

The funding for the Sankey Valley Project could have included the preservation of the Old Hall, but at the time of the fight to save B.O.H this funding remained ‘in the preparation stage’ - only to be disclosed as ‘secured’ days after the public inquiry decision was given – in Urban Splash’s favour.

 

I think you know the true facts as well as I do but I don’t think you like it that I openly discuss them?

 

You write “Sha should be careful not to get felt by their solicitors for the insinuations.”

There was no need for you to repeat yourself, I identified the ‘veiled caution’ in your last post – it was just so pathetic I ignored it.

 

Lastly Vic, thank-you for the link to Tom Bloxham's (as you said) self-justifying submission to Parliament on what to do with listed buildings.

I found it very entertaining.

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It's disappointing news about US application for repair of the roof of the farmhouse. I was hoping that the whole project had gone up in smoke. Living locally to BOH I could get use to the absence of the Hall, which after all will be nought but a facade, nothing of historical value within,but I will find it difficult to get used to the three storey enabling monstrocity which will rise in adjacent woodland.

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On 11/10/2011 at 11:12 PM, Sha said:

I don't think it's just the hall that has been seriously singed, the reputation of Urban Splash has been very seriously blackened. Bewsey Old Hall has lasted for centuries, yet within weeks of Urban Splash taking ownership parts of it are forever destroyed. As well as the ongoing investigations into the fire, questions must surely be asked about their fitness as custodians of any heritage buildings!

Will the smoke ever clear over this one - I very much doubt it.

 

Also, Boris, (alledgidly - as Diz puts it) the rethink over enabling development had begun long before the fire! I had heard that the apartment plans had been scrapped - due to poor sales in this type of accomodation and that UB were considering alternative types of enabling developments - nearer to the hall.

 

On 11/20/2011 at 1:03 AM, Sha said:

 

“Urban Splash's reputation” – now that’s a somewhat controversial subject isn’t it?

 

Vic, if you just spare a few moments to browse the internet, you will find that Urban Splash's reputation is actually highly debatable.

You will find many like my-self who do not hold that particular Development Company in any high esteem. Whilst additionally, you will others who like yourself think they are the ‘Bees Bl**dy Knees’.

You will also find Vic, that the majority of those who hold the same opinion as me are ordinary members of the public or community groups who are suffering a loss of their heritage due to Urban Splash’s business interests.

Of those I noted who held a similar opinion to yourself, I found that they were, in the main, either Urban Splash themselves,(numerous examples) Architects who have previous and perhaps hope to have future, contracts with them; Developers / Contractors who have close business / financial interests in common with them and quite a variety of Local Councils who also have business / financial interests in common with them.

 

You suggest I have made “A nasty slur on Urban Splash's reputation,

 

I have merely given an opinion of the damage which must have been done to the reputation of a company who, have promoted themselves as a very professional and responsible company in whose hands many previously publicly owned buildings have been entrusted.

Urban Splash, apparently pay great detail to fire safety issues in the design of their buildings, do you not think that the destruction by fire of a valuable heritage asset entrusted to their safekeeping could not be a source of some great embarrassment to them? Do you not think that this incident might not make people think a little more carefully before passing over our heritage into their care? I do, but if you don’t, then we must agree to differ.

I feel that the utmost of care should have been given to prevent any damage to Bewsey Old Hall. It is a Grade 2 * listed building, much valued by the people of Warrington.

I also feel that questions should be asked, not only of Urban Splash re their failure to ensure sufficient protection but additionally of The Homes and Communities Agency (formerly English Partnership) re their duty to ensure that the company it passed this heritage asset to had sufficient safeguards in place.

 

You have attempted to qualify your assertions by adding; “………especially given their excellent record on using previously unwanted listed buildings.”

Firstly, our heritage assets are not ‘unwanted’ by the general public! If they were would there be such outcry at their loss? Unfortunately, they increasingly often appear unwanted to our public representatives who seem unwilling to put any real effort into securing their remaining in public ownership. The solution to any difficulties in ensuring their preservation is too often to offload the responsibility by selling them off to the highest bidder – or even giving them away!

 

Secondly, as with their reputation the standard of UB’s ‘record’ is debatable, depending on an observer’s viewpoint. The ‘heritage conservation’ projects – in which they have totally gutted the interior of the building, and built within the retaining walls what I would describe as ‘cheap tat’ are not my idea of ‘conservation’ so I wouldn’t even rate them as ‘satisfactory’! So obviously our opinions differ re UB’s record.

 

As you must be already aware of my opinions from my previous posts I must question, what is the real point of your post Vic?

Was the word “nasty” chosen to give the impression that I had been somewhat ‘unkind’ and that my viewpoint was ‘unfair’? Were your following words, “….especially given their excellent record on using previously unwanted listed buildings,” meant to portray UB as some kind of altruistic protector of Britain’s heritage in an attempt to deflect any public criticism?

If that was your intention Vic then I’m afraid your words have fallen on deaf ears!

I could no more be persuaded to regard UB as having altruistic aims as I could be convinced that pigs could fly!

 

Urban Splash is no altruistic benefactor! Throughout the country they have acquired previously publicly owned heritage buildings at vastly reduced rates. The ‘Heritage’ status factor has enabled them to have easy access to various sources and vast amounts of public funds and heritage grants, whilst local councils have oiled the wheels of the planning and development process. Urban Splash have built an extremely profitable business, whilst the public who have in fact provided the buildings and much of the funding has lost both access and ownership.

 

With regard to previous posters comments on the increasing frequency of ‘mysterious’ arson attacks on listed buildings, - which you have attempted to play down by adding;

“But so much for "all those mysterious fires in listed buildings - just one, it seems, and that's not that particularly mysterious, just no culprit yet found”.

 

As I think that your comment was in direct relation to UB’s reputation and record, again I refer you to the internet where you will find that you are in fact mistaken, Bewsey Old Hall is not the only building that has been fire damaged whilst in the ‘care’ of Urban Splash.

The only truth in your last sentence is “….no culprit yet found”.

 

Recently, in response to concern over increasing numbers of our heritage buildings being destroyed by arson attacks, many ‘mysteriously’ linked to development plans, special investigative bodies have been set up. Arson attacks on our heritage will no longer be put on file as cases unsolved but will be keenly and thoroughly investigated.

So hopefully a culprit will be found and dealt with in the appropriate manner!

I've quoted some of the adverse comments (2012) regarding the happenings related to the Bewsey Old Hall development. At the time I thought that Urban Splash were the White Knight to save the Old Hall  and criticism was a bit over the top,harsh even. However events since then have laid bare what the reality is aided and abetted by a uselessly out manoeuvred planning enforcement regime at Warrington Borough Council.

The Planning Inspectorate approved the development with specific  conditions related to bat protection and wild life concerns, as the enabling development of 48 apartments was to be built in thriving woodland.

The Planning Inspector was concerned that Urban Splash, the appellant,  would build the 48 apartments,which were to finance the renovation  and save the Old Hall , so stipulated that the renovation and the enabling build would proceed concurrently. This has not happened 10 years on the enabling site has only recently been fenced off, completely blocking a right of way which has existed since 1976, but no building is likely to commence and the planning permission has been passed to another company,"The Next Big Thing". . It's probable  that a completely different application will be submitted for an entirely different build.

Other conditions applied to the approval were the establishment of a heritage trail to give access to local people,replacing the Ranger Station which was burned out(along with the bats)

The Heritage Trail and Ranger station have not been provided(conditional before occupation of the Old Hall) . In fact the Old Hall is now a gated residence accessed by electronic gates and other accesses to the moated area have been locked off.  Until recently the Ranger Station was still signposted to the Old Hall but the Land Trust recently removed all sign post to it and also other features which used to exist within Sankey Valley Park.

These questions have been raised with Parish Councillors/Planning Enforcement without satisfactory outcome.Urban Splash have managed to wriggle out of the sweeteners offered in order to get the approval and have banked a prestige development before passing on the enabling development which they didn't really want.

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Old Latchford Station

My home where I was born and raised until I married..

Demolished to make way for a Timber Companies Trade counter office! (1972)

Which was in turn demolished some 20 years later and the land left derelict.

Another chunk of local heritage lost forever for no good purpose.

See the source image

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latchford_1st_1889.jpg?raw=1

 

Latchford 1889. This the one Latch?

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26 minutes ago, asperity said:

latchford_1st_1889.jpg?raw=1

 

Latchford 1889. This the one Latch?

yes.

It was at the very top of Grammar School Road on the canal bank between Latchford Swing bridge and the Cantilever .... 

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It was on the main Liverpool to Stockport line until the ship canal was built which cut the line in two.

Hence the high level bridge was built at Latchford Locks. and the new high level line came into being Joining from the original line at Bank Quay.Which meant a new station where the Cantilever Garden Centre was.The old station fell into disrepair until my Dad got it in 1942 and set about turning it into a wonderful family home.

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How about the cabinet works, do we know why the council spent so much money buying and demolishing it yet?

Orford Farm and British Legion, the priory next door to the Cabinet Works, oh and that church or school next to that and as we speak Lymm Hotel is being demolished.

When is the council going to replace the baths it demolished?

The old Barclays Bank in town seems to have been left to die too, not as bad as the Bar Zero Mersey St but give it time!

 

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48 minutes ago, Milky said:

 

When is the council going to replace the baths it demolished?

 

 

The new all singing all dancing Time Square development would have been a good spot to replace the old baths.......

But maybe the sports/gym clubs in the vicinity would frown on it.

Albeit the old Public Baths was used mostly(if my memory serves me right.)by 8 to 18 years old customers not the target  of the private gym clubs demographic anyway.

 

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Credit for the images to all those people who posted them to Warrington Memories (FB) & Warrington Photos Warrington Born (FB).

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