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Bewsey Old Hall


P J
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It appears that the planning submission to convert this lovely old building into flats has reared its ugly head once again. Not only this but the developers want to turn the surrounding parkland into a further 48 flats too. We do not need more flats, we need our parks and our historic buildings to be preserved for ourselves and our future.

Building works have all but ceased on Rylands development due to the economic downturn and lack of demand for flats. Chapelford Village is well underway in this ward providing thousands of new homes which people will no doubt struggle to get a mortgage for. Why on earth should we even consider destroying one of the most historically important and interesting buildings this town has to offer in order to produce flats we dp not need?

I live in Callands and regularly take my daughter down through Sankey Valley Park and we always go and look at the Hall and have a wander through the maze, it is a beautiful place. It is very popular with families throughout the year and always has been.

I was born and bred in Bewsey and grew up with the ghost stories and history of this grand old building and i for one would feel a great sense of personal loss if the proposals were allowed to succeed.

I can't help but think,perhaps unfairly, that if this was Lymm Old Hall or Grappenhall Old Hall these proposals would already be in the bin. As it is Bewsey Old Hall should be respected for what it was and is and turned into something benefiting the community at large not the bank balance of a faceless building company.

We, as a town, seem very adept at destroying any heritage we have ever had and there comes a time when we have to stand up and say no more, enough is enough.

I for one will be doing whatever I can to try to stop this travesty occuring and I hope that anyone who has the power to help does so.

 

You can read the article here http://www.warrington-worldwide.co.uk/articles/2850/1/Historic-building-faces-uncertain-future/Page1.html

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PJ I agree wholeheartedly with what you say. It has always been a source of wonder to me the way that Warrington has ignored its history in this way. The town seems content to let things wither and die rather than make any attempt at preservation. Any other place would be celebrating its past. :!::!::!::!:

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It's an absolute disgrace !!!! I've said it until I'm blue in the face many a times, there seems to be an obsession in this town to destroy anything remotely historical, THIS particular building has huge interest for me because of its past plus I know the archaeologists who excavated in the 80's and everything involved with it.

It wouldn't happen any where else except Warrington !!! to lose or destroy the last 'real' remaining building of the town's past is an absolute bloody disgrace !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I run a living history group that I started in '98 purely to re-create the Boteler past, to help promote and keep alive our very rich heritage, sadly the town that the Botelers' helped to grow and establish itself doesn't appreciate or see the importance of the family .......... unless it suits them to !!!!!!!

They keep banging on about tourism and visitors to the town :roll::roll: really ?? to see what exactly ??? there's sod all here to see heritage wise !!!

I wonder wht's next on the list for the council to 'get rid of' ?? Parish church perhaps ? museum ?? why preserve the bloody town hall when Bewsey hall was originally the town's manor house ?? endless pots of sodding money for the town hall isn't there ?? or should I say endless pots of OUR money for the town hall ! as it belongs to everyone who pays council tax ! NOT the bloody council !

 

http://www.tonymailman.supanet.com/index7.html

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I can't help but think,perhaps unfairly, that if this was Lymm Old Hall or Grappenhall Old Hall these proposals would already be in the bin.

 

Well,Grappenhall Hayes,Grappenhall Lodge,Appleton Hall,were all knocked down years ago sadly,as were a lot of other lovely old buildings in south Warrington.

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Sadly the money isn't there, at least not locally; and with the economic downturn and the inability of this Government to tax the rich; lack of funding as well as vision, will preclude any national investment. :cry: They could of course, if they wished, dedicate lottery funds entirely to the retention, preservation and promotion of our historical heritage; and indeed employ folk in developing living history enviroments (I can see Tony now, dressed up as the Lord of the Manor!); that would secure tourist attractions in a Country with more history than most. :wink:

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Obs - it doesn't need to depend on lottery funding as most historical establishments throughout the rest of Britain are supported by local government funding. The revenue they then generate through events, education work etc etc adds to the pot. There are a few who are trustee run but still receive backing from council and tourism.

It's blatantly obvious that the idiots in this town who decide to let any of the heritage disappear are NOT familiar with tourism and educational value of such sites ! kids love it ! adults love it ! go anywhere else in Britain and it's there !

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I have seen some of the Urban Splash work completed in Manchester from the train and runs along the canalside during lunch. They seem to conserve the buildings well and breathe life into them, is this not the case with their current propsal.

 

If not surely they can work with the planners to produce an imaginative plan that will both conserve the hall and fit in with the local objections?

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Think what Tone's trying to say, and I concure; that our historic sites contain our history, our heritage. :cry: It's a compass that shows us just who we are, where we've come from and thus helps us decide where we wish to go. :? It can also be both entertaining and educational, and encourage tourism, which can have employment and economic benefits. :? Tommorow is the Queen's official birthday, and with it the Trooping of the Colour; anachronistic maybe, but a tourist attraction most definitely; and we have a wealth of history to exploit, should we have the vision to do so. :wink:

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Have I got this right? Bewsey Old Hall was a dwelling, and people don't want it restored as a dwelling? You have to make choices about public money propping up (literally in some cases) old buildings - if Greenalls were offering Walton Hall to the Council now, it would be refused because of the maintenance costs.

 

People have had ten years to get a scheme together for community use (which really would put the historic features at risk) and none of it stacks up because of the cost of initial restoration.

 

People live in listed buildings, and look after them. This was a building for living in. What's the problem if the conservation issues have been resolved?

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I don't think it would be as big an issue if they were only converting Bewsey Old Hall. As others have said, Urban Splash apparently restore these things quite well, and the place needs money from somewhere.

 

I don't care how good Urban Splash are though, they won't be able to convert the grounds into 48 other flats without it having an impact on the area. Someone is probably going to notice that.

 

Maybe someone like the National Trust might be interested? Then my grandparents could go visit it!

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From what I've seen in Manchester Urban Spalsh do retain the character of the buiding, it was a dwelling and they propose to keep it that way. NT do a wonderful job and I'm a member but they conserve building in moth balls as they were - but they are empty - it would cost the Trust an arm and a leg to restore it inside and out and then at the end of the day who would come and visit it anyway.

 

The building has not been supported for decades wy not let UB breathe life back into it.

 

As for the additional 48 then those flats must be in keeping, UB must be made to finance the approporiate infrastructure, maybe even pay for an extra Park Ranger of two for Sankey Valley so that the lovely leisure facilities are looked after.

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The building has not been supported for decades wy not let UB breathe life back into it.

 

 

The only reason it hasn't been supported is because Warrington Bloody Council don't give a flying fig about anything older than a few decades. They let the old Boteler School fall into such a disgraceful state that they got away with knocking it down on safety grounds (and probably a few stuffed brown envelopes for the Mayors Charity Too)

 

The old Bay Horse pub was "accidentally" knocked down one weekend as was the 17th Century Villa opposite (which suprisingly both sites seem to be part of new developments) or am I just being cynical?

 

Bewsey Old Hall should be a heritage site for the very reason that it is a major part of what makes Warrington; Warrington. Its fate shouldn't be left in the hands of a few self serving career councillors.

 

Yes, Urban Splash do wonderful things with buildings. Having worked a few times in Lister Mills in Bradford and then watching it shut down only to be reborn as a whole new estate of housing is brilliant; but they saved the whole thing and used the whole space available, just like the Manchester sites. Bewsey Old Hall is different because they want to save a smallish old House and then expand on the original site with 40 odd new dwellings just to make money

 

But I guess if nothing gets done it will just end up being knocked down like so many of our old buildings

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Well to be honest, if you can hide 40 apartments without damaging or impacting on the area; you should be on TV!!

 

The whole area is woodland and grassy stuff. It isn't supposed to have docking great apartment blocks built on it.

 

Why is it that WBC can't find a few million quid or form a partnership with some local companies to restore the place. The quarter of a million quid owed by the rugby club would make a nice start. The bottom line is; the council aren't happy unless they can get maximum ? return per square inch. They don't give a stuff obout the towns heritage as long as they can line their own nests and try and chip a bit off the pension deficits

 

Waste of space every bloody one of them. Parish meeting on Wednesday apparently at Kingswood where this is being discussed. It would be nice to see the local press there to grill the councillors? Especially as David Earl - parish, borough councillor and all round local guy will be there supporting what is best for his constituents..... (does that make me sound a little cynical I wonder?)

 

Turn up and voice your opinions

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Tony if you had seen the plans for the new "apartments" you wouldn't be happy either. They look horrid and so out of place it is unbelievable that things have got this far. This town has built a pub over a historic Friary because town centre really needed another pub instead of a unique archealogical find. It built a Morrisons over Roman ruins which originally defined the town because we really needed another supermarket especially on one of the towns main arteries. This town turned Cromwells Cottage into a curry house because we needed another curry house more than a very significant piece of local and national heritage. This town allowed contractors to get away with illegally demolishing the Bay Horse pub as it was inconveniently protected by law. The first grammar school at school brow was also destroyed, this time by many years of complete neglect which allowed it to fall into such a poor state that health and safety could overrule any protection orders.

 

If the combined sum of successive councils imaginations can not come up with a better use of Bewsey Old Hall than to turn it into 7 flats, and to fund it by allowing the developers to build 48 new flats in the middle of a wood in the middle of Sankey Valley Park then I for one despair. They look like giant fruit boxes on stilts and are over 150 metres wide in total They are much higher than normal houses too. Totally out of scale and character if you ask me.

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PJ - I have seen the plans, and I was actually involved with the original conservation group to save Bewsey Hall :wink: hence my original posting in the thread. I feel even more strongly about it than Baz J does :wink:

 

We have a right to conserve our heritage and history, it's what gives us identity and origin, it's what attracts REAL tourists to Britain, it's well known amongst tourism board circles that our heritage is envied across the globe. Unfortunately there are those who don't realise this and take it for granted ! and usually they are the first ones to then complain we have nothing to show !!

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I can tell from your posts that you care for our heritage Tony and was in no way having a go. Some of the original campaigners for the Hall told me they will be coming to the Parish Council meeting to voice their objections. Good for them I say and I hope a major rethink can be forced on the present Council.

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