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Bridge Street plans


Gary
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The town center is quite busy these days, it is just that it is the Golden Sq

 

So iot involves demolishing all the nice buildings with that are on bridge street now to create what council offices, uncovered Golden Sq mark 2, in the hope of what, enticing businesses away from the Golden Sq?

 

No imagination at all!

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I think it has to be acknowledged that any town centre will only accommodate & support so many shops which is usually a mirror image of every other town centre .....these will be made up of the usual  high street names plus x amount of small local businesses ,cafes ,restaurants ,pubs etc.. With the Golden Square being so well supported it looks like the town centre streets could do with trying continental cafe culture outlets ,a decent gym or 2 ,a cinema & above all, if there are no specialist or niche market shops shops such as maybe a decent antique centre & quality auction house to attract the Cheshire set , then any remaining  property could do with filling with good well populated office space to provide custom for leisure outlets. This is a town with aspirations to become a city one day & to achieve that it needs to sell itself ....the town for a while may even need to punch above its weight ,but as the old saying says "If you can't fight wear a big hat ".

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I agree with the specialist shops but that does not mean we need to tear down perfectly good buildings.

 

I do not understand any company wishing to locate their offices in a town center.

 

Cinema, how about the old Mr Smith night club?

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The old Mr smiths nightclub would make a great cinema, Oh wait it already was one until they decided that an out of town multi screen cinema was the way to go.

 

Why would businesses want to have offices in the town. despite several prime sites with ready to move in office space golden gates had to have a new office building erected in one of the towns parks and they are a "LOCAL" business.

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It's just a case of making use of the buildings really with whatever venture will use them otherwise in five years time the derelict buildings in Bridge St will be getting pulled down.

 

St Helens is having the same problem with town centre shops closing in favour of the ones on Ravenhead Retail Park.

 

If  employers did move back into town though it would need a much better transport system to get the workers to & from town.

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It's just a case of making use of the buildings really with whatever venture will use them otherwise in five years time the derelict buildings in Bridge St will be getting pulled down.

 

St Helens is having the same problem with town centre shops closing in favour of the ones on Ravenhead Retail Park.

 

If  employers did move back into town though it would need a much better transport system to get the workers to & from town.

 

Well that's one of the main issues. Why would a business want to locate to an office unsupported by adequate infrastructure with staff who have to spend two hours a day stuck in traffic to get to work. 

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Loads of new town centre flats at Cheshire Lines and by the roundabout at the end of Mersey St - plus the Battersby Lane area. Plenty of them sitting empty too, coz people don't want them.

 

They want to live in houses with gardens and space to park their cars away from the town centre.

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Perhaps Ink, you could explain why many, if not most, youngsters now continue to live with their parents?   Simples: cos they can't afford a place of their own; even to rent; so would be gratefull for the opportunity to live AND work in a Town Centre; IF flats etc were affordable. As for the notion that folk prefer the leafy suburbs; they may in an ideal world, but the problems of land take (into green belt) and consequent transport costs and congestion are fast ruling that out.

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And once more we come back to the main reason for the mess this country is still in ,lack of spare money in peoples pockets & lack of confidence to spend what they have. The economic improvement is only happening in the south east.

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There would be advantages to living very close to where you work as regards transport costs. But there are disadvantages, especially for office staff, in that if you only live round the corner you tend to get asjked to stay later or start earlier or even have a knock at the door asking if you can cover a shift because of illness even if it is your day off and you had planned to go to the seaside for the day.

 

Perhaps as a solution to the transport prioblem we could go the way of trams. Like manchester and others. Or as an even better solution. turn the outskirts of warrington into a pay and go car park, put a huge ring road around the area ban all cars from the inner  area and get those new google self driving cars to get people into and out of town. that way you could get rid of the loss making busses and staff could be re-employed checking the parking areas and issuing fines for nonpayment plus with a bit of retraining they could also look after the maintenance of the google cars and operate a breakdown recovery response team 24 hours.

 

Oh well back to the real world I suppose.

 

( by the way if any of these ideas crop up at the next council meeting then you know that they are keeping an eye on this forum!!!!)

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The problem with the housing market, is that demand is exceeding supply, fuelling price inflation throughout the food chain.  The Gov's "help to buy" scheme merely adds to the demand, from folk who can't really afford the mortgage commitment, thus we're heading for another housing bubble; which will burst if and when interest rates rise. So:  we need housing asap, at the lowest end of the market, mainly for affordable rents. Existing capacity can be exploited too, empty properties, flats over shops etc could be renovated. Vibrant Town Centres require people actually living and working in them. The problem with such development todate, has been, it's been viewed in isolation rather than part of wider complimentary plan; hence we had GS acting like a tumour, to suck in footfall and shops, to the detriment of the rest of the TC.

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Just out of interest would you actually want to (or be happy to) live in a flat in Warrington town centre Obs ? 

 

What is wrong with living in the town center? I have friends living in Manchester town center, in a converted factory,  I am quite tempted to move, although thinking of going back to Wales too. One day I might even get an estate agent round to value my house lol.

 

 

The problem with the housing market, is that demand is exceeding supply, fuelling price inflation throughout the food chain.  The Gov's "help to buy" scheme merely adds to the demand, from folk who can't really afford the mortgage commitment, thus we're heading for another housing bubble; which will burst if and when interest rates rise. So:  we need housing asap, at the lowest end of the market, mainly for affordable rents.

 

Observer, You do realize we are talking about Warrington, which is in the North of England not London?

 

You can buy a 1 bedroom apartment from £45,000 in Warrington and a house from £50,000, as Inky says there are loads of apartments for sale  around Warington.

 

like running a car, running a house is expensive, rates, water, power, maintenance! Had a new floor put down and the guy who was doing it was charging £50 an hour!!!! Where are all the Poles, they are supposed to be cheaper - although not in my experience.

 

Existing capacity can be exploited too, empty properties, flats over shops etc could be renovated. Vibrant Town Centres require people actually living and working in them. The problem with such development todate, has been, it's been viewed in isolation rather than part of wider complimentary plan; hence we had GS acting like a tumour, to suck in footfall and shops, to the detriment of the rest of the TC.

 

Agree with you here. There are government grants available to councils wanting to convert premises above shops to apartments.

 

But there is no residential space planed for Bridge St is there?

 

Still wondering why any business wants a office in a town center, traffic a problem, lack/cost of parking, rates expensive, lots of purpose built office spaces available outside town. One of the banks is pulling out of Warington, if the council needs offices.

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Coffee; these places "are empty" cos the folk who need them, can't afford them. A mortgage is simply beyond most folk (and argueably always has been), in a world where there's no longer secure jobs for life, zero hour contracts etc. The unaffordability, also applies to rents, which are being inflated due to demand. 

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There are currently 50+ flats in the centre of Warrington - that is, within about 5 mins walk of the bus station - on Rightmove available to rent at £100 a week or less, and 50+ properties to buy in the same area at under £90,000 (which would cost the same £100 per week on a 90% mortgage at 3%).

 

Minimum wage is about £250 a week for a 40 hour without overtime or shift pay, out of which comes about £20 tax and NI. So even a single person living alone could quite easily afford £100 a week out of £230 take home pay. Any couple who are both working - even for minimum wage - can afford to live in the town centre very comfortably.

 

So why are there 100+ suitable properties sitting empty in the town centre?

 

Because people don't want to live there!

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Going on your figures Inky (ie the final £230 a week based on 'minimum' wage) less the mortgage/rent payment of £100 a week then that leaves around £130 a week.  That would then have to cover food, gas, elec, water rates, council tax, phone,  travel costs, clothes and anything else would it not ? 

Is that possible or is gas/elec/water/council tax included  in rent these days ?

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Many will be on zero hours contracts or in and out of employment, so won't be able to rely on regular levels of income; so mortgages (assuming lenders would take the risk) are a non-starter; and it's doubtfull landlords would be understanding about irregular payments either. Yes Diz, all those costs would be additional to the £100pw (assuming the rent was that low).

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If all the additional cost are not included then I can't see how anyone on minimum wage earning £230 a week could ever afford that.  Taking away the supposed £100 a week rent/mortgage then what's left equates to what out son earns a week for 40 ish solid hours work a week and although he doesn't go short and can run a car on that there's no way on earth it would cover bills and 'real' living if it had to.

I'd actually hate to be young these days as I really don't know how they will ever be able to afford to get on the housing ladder and buy homes of their own and support their own families when their time comes :(

 

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