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I am amazed that the people of Warrington are not up in arms about the plans for Walton Gardens. Officially we are told nothing has been decided but unofficially it seems certain that the Hall will become a boutique Hotel with landscaped gardens, that other buildings like the ex-Heritage Yard will be part of this and that the public will not have free access to all the existing public park lands. And it is possible these decisions will be made without any public consultation. The plan is to bring huge investment to the facility, which WBC say they cannot finance, but do YOU want to sacrifice access to the most-loved open space in Warrington

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Dont think they can actually restrict access to it due the an old covenant placed on the land and buildings....part of which states 'public access must always be allowed' (although probably worded slightly different :wink: ).

 

So providing the council or developers dont try to be clever or sneaky in getting the restrictions removed it should be ok.

 

Agree though that a FULL public consultation should be made and also that any plans or ideas are fully transparent and open to public scrutiny PRIOR to any final decision being made. Private investment and other changes are needed though to bring the full potential of the Hall and other buildings into better use as WBC have failed on that count so far :roll::cry:

 

The decision should not just be for the council's current officers or current exec board to decide though as they are only the temporary minders of the Hall and Gardens rather than TRUE owners :wink:

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Dismayed. What you say sounds perfectly reasonable. Sadly, it is this sort of complacency, belief in democracy and lack of information that has prevented the issue getting out.

Direct questions have been asked to Ian Brown WBC and the answers confirm what I have suggested. Ask him.

Ask yourself if the owners of a boutique hotel will allow us people of Warrington to stroll around the gardens, have picnics and play football anywhere near the hotel. It will surely be (is) a condition of the deal that there will be public exclusion zones. WBC are bringing in a rich developer with over ?20 million - they won't let a little thing like consultation and covenants stand in the way.

Councillors repeat the mantra that the Hall and other buildings are not being sold. Technically this is correct, but when I bought a leasehold property it was mine for the next 999 years, and I was free to do what I liked, including selling it. Contessa expect to buy a long-term lease. There will be conditions, but they are buying a lease

Please believe me, I am well-informed.

And prepare to be very dismayed

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Again I can see your point but the boutique hotel is only part of the whole plan though and surely something needs to be done :?

 

I presume WBC have now got around the fact that the old covenant also prohibits the hall or any other of the buildings on the land from being used as a hotel... and also that it restricts the sale and consumption of alcohol etc.

 

Not hard to have lifted I supppose as the decision lies with the current beneficiary to the estate which I presume is Lord Daresbuty (better known as Mr G the Walton Creamfields Rocker :?)

 

It's sad to think that the highly respected older members of the Greenalls family went to so much trouble to ensure that any land or buildings they sold/handed over were protected for future use by the local community and the public as a whole people when modern day policies put such importance at the bottom of the agenda over 'responsibility stripping' and a quick and ill thought 'easy option' .

 

Such is life eh but until people are told exactly what is on the cards then how are we to make an informed decision and know that it is right or wrong in the long term 8)

 

It's ok saying we should all just ASK Ian Brown but due to the usual twaddle over confidentiality and exemption to certain other facts then what else would we be told that we haven't already been told.

 

At the end of the day though the parking charges are so high for short and regular visits and the car park attendants are so intent stalking motorists and issuing parking fines that I don't tend to go there as much anyway. I remember the irate driver with the only car in the whole car park getting a ticket for touching the white line with his wheel. Overkill or what :roll::lol:

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Boutique hotels are usually small hotels which are built from unusual buildings and the like.

 

Hotel Du Vin have a few wierd places (The Edinburgh one is an old mental asylum) I've stayed at the Bristol one which is a group of old 1700's warehouses so the Walton Hall would be classed under that banner as it is a small old stately home and not a huge rambling building with 150 rooms.

 

Most of the boutique hotels are the 4* and 5* places and usually have a fine dining restaraunt and probably would not be too accomodating of kids running round the gardens playing football on walking day!!

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I don't know what I think about this one. Whilst I agree that that it's a lovely public park, there is an argument for it not belonging to the Council. The Hall is not being looked after - and to maintain it is expensive. It does make sense to me to sell the building to someone who will restore it, rather than see it inevitably decline, because it's not right to spend limited budget on it whilst basic services are in short supply, is it? Although I am not enamoured of this Council's enthusiasm for selling things to the highest bidder!

 

Ideally, the National Trust or a similar body should take it on and keep it open to the public..... certainly some degree of public access should be a condition of sale.

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I don't know what I think about this one. Whilst I agree that that it's a lovely public park, there is an argument for it not belonging to the Council. The Hall is not being looked after - and to maintain it is expensive. It does make sense to me to sell the building to someone who will restore it, rather than see it inevitably decline, because it's not right to spend limited budget on it whilst basic services are in short supply, is it? Although I am not enamoured of this Council's enthusiasm for selling things to the highest bidder!

 

Ideally, the National Trust or a similar body should take it on and keep it open to the public..... certainly some degree of public access should be a condition of sale.

 

Whatever happens it will still belong to the council.

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What's the difference between a boutique hotel and normal hotel? :?

 

The price charged for a room. :wink:

 

But otherwise as Baz has said in an earlier post.

 

I'm having a meeting with WBC later today for an update and to put forward the concerns of some residents. I will also be asking the question as to whether the National Trust have been approached with a view to taking over the Estate.

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Can you also ask if they have been released from the obstacle of the restrictive covenant clauses re the Hotel and sale of alchohol etc.

 

It will be worded along the lines of....

 

That the Council will not use or permit or suffer to be used the said land or any part thereof or any building erected or to be erected theron as a Hotel, Public House, Beer House, Beer Shop or Club or for the sale or as a place of office for taking orders for the sale or purchase wether by wholesale or retail and wether for consumption on or off the said premises of ale orter beer wines foreigh wines or spirituous liquors and whether such ale porter beer wines or spirituous liquors be stored on or off such premises nor use or permit or suffer to be used and part of the said premises for the carrying on of the trade business or employment of a Vintner distiller brewer tavern-keeper or retailer of ail porter beer foreign wines or spirituous liquors

 

and also wether it contains a clause similar to...

 

... By the principal deed the [council] thereby covenanted with the company for the benefit and protection of land and to give effect ot te intention that the land should be used as a Public Recreation ground and to observe and perform the covenants contained in the principle deed which are more particularly set out in the second schedule hereto and numbered 'x' to 'y' (which said covenants are herinater referred to as the "covenants")......

 

...... that the said land shall be used as and for a public recreation ground and for no other purposes whatsoever'

 

Logically speaking though it should be very easy to remove some of the restriction so as to allow the development of the Hall and old buildings to go ahead whilst keeping other to safeguard free public access to the whole of the gardens and other land for future years. :wink:

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We all got blitzed there at my friend's wedding..... full cash bar, plus wine with the meal and Champagne for the toasts. Glorious day.... have they changed the rules? The wedding was six years ago.

 

I'd like to see the NT take it on. That's in keeping with the original intention, takes the cost burden off WBC, guarantees the future of the Hall and keeps it open to everyone. If that can't happen, I'd rather see a Hotel than a ruin, even if the park area is decreased.

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Rules havent changed LP as I think the booze restriction was lifted a few years back from part of the Hall ( for weddings etc) but not not from the other buildings or land... could be wrong and maybe you have just admitted to illegal drinking :lol:

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I'd like to see the NT take it on.

 

 

That's in keeping with the original intention, takes the cost burden off WBC, guarantees the future of the Hall and keeps it open to everyone. If that can't happen, I'd rather see a Hotel than a ruin, even if the park area is decreased.

 

The National Trust have declined to do so, and hence WBC looking for an alternative and innovative solution whilst still ensuring free public access to the Park.

 

I totally agree with your latter point.

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Declined? Are they allowed to do that? Funded by us to keep our stuff there for us, I thought. I know they share Tatton with whatever Cheshire County Council has turned into now, so I rather thought something like that would be the answer. Shame.

 

Gets tricky now, I suppose. Anyone taking on the place has to make it pay enough to maintain things, and that's not really compatible with free public access.

 

Restaurant, maybe? Open downstairs during the day for tea room type stuff and upstairs at night for fine dining? Serving park visitors during the day and making its money after they've all gone home?

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Theme Park?

 

hmmmm "Walton Towers" has a good ring to it! That is a fun place with a tatty old hall in the middle of it :lol:

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Wasnt it Farty Towels :wink::lol:

 

Maybe we should stop now before we get accused of hijacking and detracting from serious :lol: topic and getting WBC of the hook :wink:

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