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Hitler Rants About The Councils Attitude To Our Historic Buildings


algy
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 I think you mean the local authority prosecuted, not was prosecuted.

Coffee, the Bay Horse and a group of three cottages were all demolished without planning consent in February 2005. The local authority was prosecuted and the firm responsible were fined £8,000 per listed building and costs, amounting to a total of £16,500.
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Beech House was only Grade II listed in 1983 which is quite late as a lot were done in the mid 70's (I just looked, 31a Winwick Street) no particular mention of it being in a bad state but not sure they would put that anyway. 

 

Surely (if the council didn't own it though) they still had a statutory duty to ensure that the actual owner of the listed building didn't allow it get into such a serious state where it suddenly needed immediate demolition (if of course if was/did.. it's not like anyone could check once it had gone eh).

It's not that simple. The Council can issue repair notices, it can do the work itself and try and recover costs from the owner, or it can compulsorily purchase a building at risk. But unless there's a reasonable chance of bringing it back into use, that may just lumber the council (and taxpayers) with an insuperable problem. This building was a wreck - a judgment has to be made about how awful its total loss would be. I repeat though - so far as I am aware this is the only total loss of a listed building in the borough that has been allowed by the Council in over 25 years.

 

I should add that listed buildings can legally be demolished on various other grounds - e.g. for "public benefit" - for a new railway or airport runway say. To consent to demolition (or even harm to the building) the LPA must decide that demolition (or harm) is necessary to achieve substantial public benefits that outweigh that harm or loss, or that all of the following apply:

 

the nature of the heritage asset prevents all reasonable uses of the site;

no viable use of the heritage asset itself can be found in the medium term through appropriate marketing that will enable its conservation;

conservation by grant-funding or some form of charitable or public ownership is demonstrably not possible;

the harm or loss is outweighed by the benefit of bringing the site back into use.

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It's not that simple. The Council can issue repair notices, it can do the work itself and try and recover costs from the owner, or it can compulsorily purchase a building at risk. But unless there's a reasonable chance of bringing it back into use, that may just lumber the council (and taxpayers) with an insuperable problem. This building was a wreck - a judgment has to be made about how awful its total loss would be.

 

 

The problem with councils  is their total lack of imagination. Buildings can become anything you need or want them to be, restaurants, bars, hotels, apartments. Watch restoration Home on BBC 2 and you will see wrecks that were in far worse shape then the villa or grammar school turned into modern homes. There are offer programs were derelict factories are turned into houses, houses into hotels and so on

 

The problem with restoring these buildings is not that they can not be done it is bureaucracy, council will send in conservation officers and planning officers who will insist on expensive original features, um and er over planning consent while all to happy to send in bulldozers or to let them decay.

 

My uncle bought a 300 year old grade 2 listed house and barn in Anglesey that had not been lived in for 50 years, well it had sheep living in it in recent years. It had no roof, no floors its walls were falling down yet it took three years to restore the house because of council red tape and thousands of extra pounds.

 

 

Sounds like there's not a lot that can be done to preserve buildings of (architectural or historical) significance if somebody wants them out of the way.

 

Well, is there?

 

Hundreds are lost every year, there are specialist lawyers who find loop holes around the listed building status

 

I would point out the environmental impact of demolishing then putting up a new building.

 

PLUS the baths in leagh St as an example lasted a hundred years, the modern swimming pool in Orford lasted less then 20 at a cost off?

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 I think you mean the local authority prosecuted, not was prosecuted.

The source I obtained the information from was not clear whether the council prosecuted or was prosecuted, I chose the latter because I thought  that is what should have happened.

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Why?

Because I have been informed that someone in authority gave a nod and a wink that if the buildings were demolished, then the deed was done and that any small fine accrued by the contractor would easily be recovered later in the contract. Am I correct in assuming the buildings in question were pulled down at weekend. Let me ask you a question Steve, where you a member of WBC at the time and if so were you involved in that project?.

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Because I have been informed that someone in authority gave a nod and a wink that if the buildings were demolished, then the deed was done and that any small fine accrued by the contractor would easily be recovered later in the contract. Am I correct in assuming the buildings in question were pulled down at weekend. Let me ask you a question Steve, where you a member of WBC at the time and if so were you involved in that project?.

 

I think it is unfair to blame the council on the demolition of the bay horse as contractors already know the penalties are low for the crime. However I think that the council should insist on penalty clauses in contract. If the contractor had to pay out half a million ponds for destroying the building, I am sure they would not have made the mistake and the bay horse would still be there.

 

Having said that maybe politicians should pay out compensation for their cock ups.

 

So I defended Steve Parish, never thought the day would come, although I do feel a little bit bad giving him stick as at least he comes on here and tries to justify the council and thei r decisions, unlike his mates on the council.

 

 

I repeat though - so far as I am aware this is the only total loss of a listed building in the borough that has been allowed by the Council in over 25 years.

How about the Dingle Hotel in Lymm (I guess that comes under Warrington)?

 

Back to giving Steve stick, I did say only felt a little sorry for him.

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Because I have been informed that someone in authority gave a nod and a wink that if the buildings were demolished, then the deed was done and that any small fine accrued by the contractor would easily be recovered later in the contract. Am I correct in assuming the buildings in question were pulled down at weekend. Let me ask you a question Steve, where you a member of WBC at the time and if so were you involved in that project?.

I think you should name the someone in authority, then wait for the writ for defamation.

 

No I was not a member at the time, but had I seen the bulldozer move in, I'd have done the Arthur Dent thing and lain down in front of it. It was a Sunday. The magistrates believed it was a genuine mistake, but the fine can be unlimited (and imprisonment).

 

Anyway, specially for Baz who thought Manchester has a better record in these matters, their plans committee has just granted consent to demolish Century House (below) to make way for a modern office block. 

 

9108234072_a06d1ef418_z.jpg

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I think you should name the someone in authority, then wait for the writ for defamation.

 

No I was not a member at the time, but had I seen the bulldozer move in, I'd have done the Arthur Dent thing and lain down in front of it. It was a Sunday. The magistrates believed it was a genuine mistake, but the fine can be unlimited (and imprisonment).

Have a hard job prosecuting him Steve, first part of the procedure would be to dig him up!

Regarding Century House an Insurance building built in 1934, it's only a teenager compared to the Bay Horse etc. doesn't exactly have a long history does it. :rolleyes:

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I think you should name the someone in authority, then wait for the writ for defamation.

 

No I was not a member at the time, but had I seen the bulldozer move in, I'd have done the Arthur Dent thing and lain down in front of it. It was a Sunday. The magistrates believed it was a genuine mistake, but the fine can be unlimited (and imprisonment).

 

Anyway, specially for Baz who thought Manchester has a better record in these matters, their plans committee has just granted consent to demolish Century House (below) to make way for a modern office block. 

 

9108234072_a06d1ef418_z.jpg

 

Steve.... it is a shame about Century House; but there are many many more examples of buildings in Manchester and Liverpool (and even Wigan) where they have been saved from demolition and restored for other uses.....

 

but are you saying that Warrington has a good track record when it comes to saving buildings when compared to other councils/authorities? I know quite a few who would disagree

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Whilst this is a highly subjective issue (beauty in the eye of the beholder etc);  it's also a question of context and consistency. Conservation Areas were supposed to protect heritage of value, but weren't properly policed by the planners, who rather than maintaining planning policy, are prone to give way to the political expediency of their masters.

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Steve.... it is a shame about Century House; but there are many many more examples of buildings in Manchester and Liverpool (and even Wigan) where they have been saved from demolition and restored for other uses.....

 

but are you saying that Warrington has a good track record when it comes to saving buildings when compared to other councils/authorities? I know quite a few who would disagree

 

 

 

The word stupid is what your looking for not shame. Where is the sense in pulling down a perfectly good building to put up another?

 

The right to demolish should be an exception.

 

Politicians both local and national are constantly lecturing use on how we need to cycle more, walk more use public transport (of course this does not apply to them as they jump into their limos and fill out their expense forms) also recycle more and the environment responsibility we all have. Yet demolishing a building then replacing it with something else has a huge environmental impact, machinery use, landfill, transport, new materials.

 

I do not get why the people responsible can not incorporate the new with the old, instead they put up badly built structures that last only  a few years.

 

Name me a large modern building were the roof does not leak?, Tescos store roof leaks, the cockhedge center leaks, the Golden Sq leaks, the bus station leaks

 

Why it happens, Observer has put it brilliantly

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It was a Sunday. The magistrates believed it was a genuine mistake, but the fine can be unlimited (and imprisonment).

 

How many people have actually been given unlimited and hefty fines.. or actual imprisonment... for 'accidentally' demolishing a listed/locally listed building or allowing something else to happen by simply turning a blind eye when something clearly shouldn't have been allowed Steve P ?

 

Seems to me that the fines are usually very low indeed and well within the developers/owners/councils pockets of loose change and so the people responsible usually get away with it with just a small fine and/or slap on the wrist... or nothing at all !! 

 

'In this case 'It was a Sunday'...... also says a lot too eh ?

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How many people have actually been given unlimited and hefty fines.. or actual imprisonment... for 'accidentally' demolishing a listed/locally listed building or allowing something else to happen by simply turning a blind eye when something clearly shouldn't have been allowed Steve P ?

 

Seems to me that the fines are usually very low indeed and well within the developers/owners/councils pockets of loose change and so the people responsible usually get away with it with just a small fine and/or slap on the wrist... or nothing at all !! 

 

'In this case 'It was a Sunday'...... also says a lot too eh ?

That is what I had been informed, Dizz, an ideal time to start on a Sunday morning with hardly anyone about in town at that time, Saturday or any other day would have resulted in plenty of witnesses!.

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It happens in Manchester (and, probably everywhere else) too:

 

Apparently, its supporters managed to arrange a preservation order for the building but, according to the excellent Pubs of Manchester website, that order expired at midnight on February 12, 1993, and the pub was literally reduced to rubble before anyone could seek a renewal on February 13th.

http://manchesterhistory.net/manchester/gone/tommyducks.html

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This thread is amazing!

My family came from John Street (had a shop there) but now it is just a car park.

Warrington has lost more of its historically built heritage than almost any other town or city that I know of but isn't that the motto "Deus dat incrementum"?

The questions must surely be "why expand and at what cost?".

We have lost very many of our older buildings, which is extremely regretable, but we have also lost (and continue to loose) some of the most beautiful and scenic countryside in (my opinion) the whole of the expanding North West conurbation.

If there are any historic buildings in Warrington that are under immediate threat I will willingly lie down in front of the bulldozers to help to protect them, but are any of our elected politicians willing to stand up and give their voice to the protection of the beautiful countryside that surrounds Warrington?

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Re prosecutions, I think this is the record fine: http://ihbc.org.uk/context_archive/59/newport.htm

They should dish out more fines like that :wink:.... That report was done in 1998 and goes with this one which has a table of fines (most are very low indeed)and reference to custodial sentences etc.

 

Very interesting and I wonder if there's a more up-to-date version ?

 

http://www.ihbc.org.uk/context_archive/58/prosecutions/establish.html

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I found the latest Listed Building Prosecution Database. I can only see one from Warrington on it (Orford Farm Barn, Arson, 2012).

 

They rely on people telling them about any others if anyone knows of any.....

 

Click on the tabs below the word 'resources' to view... you have to press the 'right arrow' to scroll across to see league table A and B

 

http://www.ihbc.org.uk/resources/resources.html

 

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so far as I am aware this is the only total loss of a listed building in the borough that has been allowed by the Council in over 25 years.

 

Was the former British Legion building not listed on St Austins Lane?

 

While not listed the old Vicarage in Palmyra Square Conservation Area is under threat of demolishion!

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