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Bewsey Old Hall


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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

 

 

:D:D:D

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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.

 

Urban Splash specialise in regenerating run down urban buildings. Sankey Valley Park is not in need of regeneration. It is Urban Green Space not some crumbling warehouse. The proposed new development covers over a 50 thousand square feet area a lot of which is ancient woodland, natural habitat and archaeologically important land.. What the Town is giving up is in no way compensated by what it will recieve. It is a deal which only benefits the vested interests of a few investors and seriously detracts from a beautiful and popular area.

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Why are conservationists always ready to spend other people's money?

 

As in "they" should restore this at public expense to be a drain on the public purse for ever ......

 

Separate issues: how does Bewsey Old Hall get "a new lease of life"? By someone coming along with a scheme to restore it to its original use (i.e. as a home) even if that means several dwellings.

 

How does it get funded? By developing adjacent land.

 

Is the other land of special interest? If so, it should be protected, or mitigation measures imposed. (What's in the environmental statements? What's the council ecologist's response?)

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McBain, although I was unaware that the term Ancient Woodland did indeed have particular meaning in planning circles it is a phrase which appers several times in the planning documents online at WBC website.

 

Page 139 3.2 There is a belt of ancient woodland (bog wood and twig wood)located to the north of Bewsey Old Hall(appendix 1). Ancient woodland is listed as an important habitat in the Warrington UDP.

 

Page 163 reference 19932 Ancient and semi natural woodland.

 

on page 165 is a drawing which is supposed to show ancient woodland amongst other things but it is completely illegible.

 

It may be that no ancient woodland will be destroyed but woodland will definitly be destroyed and ancient woodland is seen to have been identified. I am not a planning expert or even well up on the terminology used in this profession. I do however think that to apply the "enabling development" to this project is not right. Being allowed to build and sell 48 new flats in an area where you would not dream planning permission would be considered in order to enable the developer to convert the Old Hall into more flats is not the same as alowing the flats to be built to enable the developer to restore and open the Old Hall to the benefit of the Town and community. As it stands the public will be locked out of the Old Hall for ever and the protected special features (King James Wall etc. ) will be a talking point in the midde of somebobys new living room.

 

The footprint of the new flats is huge and putting a sedum roof on them doesn't mask the fact that they will look totally out of place and detract from the beauty of a very popular parkland area.

 

Imagine giving away for free Walton Hall to be developed into flats and a vast swathe of the park being uprooted and turned into 48 modern apartments to fund developing the Hall. No person in their right mind would agree that this would benefit the people of Warrington in any way shape or form and neither will the Bewsey Old Hall development.

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So are you saying every building with some interesting old features should have public access? If not, why this? I'd like to see interesting bits of lots of old houses and stately homes but unless the owner lets me in (or has artwork as a tax dodge), there's not much chance.

 

And I take it the ancient woodland is preserved and it's just the self-seeded recent stuff that can go - which is what you'd no doubt want if you wanted an extension and there was a sycamore in the way.

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Why are conservationists always ready to spend other people's money?

 

As in "they" should restore this at public expense to be a drain on the public purse for ever ......

 

Separate issues: how does Bewsey Old Hall get "a new lease of life"? By someone coming along with a scheme to restore it to its original use (i.e. as a home) even if that means several dwellings.

 

How does it get funded? By developing adjacent land.

 

Is the other land of special interest? If so, it should be protected, or mitigation measures imposed. (What's in the environmental statements? What's the council ecologist's response?)

 

And with an attitude like that Vic, we would have a raft of modern developments cutting a swathe thorugh every old building in the town and even the country

 

Bewsey Old Hall is a special building. It may once have been a home but it is now more than that. It is part of the towns heritage and as such it should be protected by the town for future generations. Why not use it as a museum? Are you aware how many exhibits Warrington Council have which aren't on public display because there is not enough space to show them? A warehouse full.... of exhibits.... as in your pound notes pay to keep them locked away from public view in a very expensive storage unit!

 

The problem is that WBC want a $ return as usual. They can't seem to get it into their heads that occasionally the public should get something which doesn't make money for the council (and the big wheel doesn't count!!)

 

WBC always seem to grant permission if it suits them financially (the Tesco store would never have been built without the Stadium bung - which incidentally must make WBC a good few quid a year in business rates) which is why I will be suprised if the development doesn't go ahead..... just think of all that prime band E property they can tax!! and imagine how much they could charge in rates in the Hall itself?

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I'd like to see interesting bits of lots of old houses and stately homes but unless the owner lets me in (or has artwork as a tax dodge), there's not much chance.

 

So which interesting bits of which old houses would you like to see then Vic?

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Baz what I find amazing is that the hall and all the land was given, free of charge to the developers, not one penny was recieved. No wonder they want to proceed with this development even though countrywide building companies are mothballing projects already well under way and steering well clear of starting any new sites. It is win win for them.

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Baz what I find amazing is that the hall and all the land was given, free of charge to the developers, not one penny was recieved. No wonder they want to proceed with this development even though countrywide building companies are mothballing projects already well under way and steering well clear of starting any new sites. It is win win for them.

 

Free of charge or free of tax in a few stuffed envelopes I wonder??

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With reference to Walton Hall .......... it's perfectly obvious why it was kept and refurbished etc .......... look at who owned it !!! need I say anymore ? :roll::roll::roll::roll::roll::roll: if they said jump to the council the councils reply would be 'how high?' :roll::roll:

:D:D:D

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High enough make sure they took ownership and now include Walton Hall and Gardens in the Councils new 'Warringtons Regeneration Framework - Moving on Moving ahead' project

 

Developing the concept for the Walton Hall Programme

 

Walton Hall Park and Gardens project - a major subregional

park and visitor destination, complete with

a hotel, conference and events venue and a centre

of horticultural excellence.

 

..... just goes to show that WBC are interested when it suits them :wink:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Breaking news and good news too. Tonight WBC Planning committee voted unanimously to refuse the proposal put by Urban Splash to turn the Old Hall and a good chunk of Sankey Valley Park into Flats. Well done Councillors and you don't hear that very often :D:D:D:D

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Well that's a shock to say the least :shock: I must admit after Urban Splash got permission from the Department of Culture Media and Sport / Secretary of State? last year I did think it would go ahead.

 

GREAT NEWS and I agree 'Well done (for once :shock: ) to WBC's Dev Control Councillors'. Credit where credit's due and good to see that they are perhaps starting to listen to public opinion too :D

 

So what's on the agenda for Bewsey Hall now then? Will the Bewsey Hall Conservation Project kick in or will English Partnerships now reconsider the rival bid that was put forward by the Warrington Housing Association at the same time :wink:

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Depends on the reasons for refusal. Given the costs Urban Splash will have run up, I guess they're likely to appeal, especially with the conservation officers and English Heritage taking a pragmatic view and supporting the application.

 

It looks like Cllrs Wheeler and Gleave included "weight of public opinion" in their objection but public opinion isn't a valid planning reason to refuse.

 

Generally the best way of securing the upkeep of historic buildings and areas is to keep them in active use. For the great majority this must mean economically viable uses if they are to survive, and new, and even continuing, uses will often necessitate some degree of adaptation.

(from the Government's Planning Policy Guidance).

 

What's the economically viable use that is the alternative? The conservation project people say that "Sufficient finances are available from other sources to set aside the need for enabling development" but is that realistic? They also say that the subdivision of the building will result in an intensification of use, which will result in a deterioration of the building - now that's odd, when it's not being used that causes most deterioration. (Except that they expect English Partnerships to keep it maintained without an obvious end use.)

 

I have to admit to bias toward Urban Splash. They've not got much wrong, and that includes adapting listed buildings for apartments.

 

But I'm not sure it's "well done" to the committee. It's because local councillors listen to public opinion (and don't want to offend voters) that the Government will take some major planning decisions out of the hands of local members - but then that's why this may well be successfully appealed - planning inspectors don't need to be elected!

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But the vote was unanimous, not close, not nip and tuck, unanimous. The reason for this is that it is ill concieved, out of character and demands a lot of concessions without any benefits to the people of this town. I spoke to the chap from Urban Splash after the meeting and I don't think he was expecting to appeal given that his design was publically humiliated in what was a very brave and honorable vote against this proposed carbuncle.

 

P.S. you don't happen to live in the lodge do you?

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Was it turned down because of the plans for Bewsey Old Hall, or because the new development were an unsympathetic design? There must have been reasons given - unless they tried the old favourite of asking the officers to come up with planning reasons for turning it down rather than just on the numbers of objectors

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The arguments for and against were extremely well put by both sides. The proposal failed on many levels including the out of character flats to enable the Old Hall development, the security and poor design of the new flats, the absolute lack of community benefit which is a stipulation for enabled development. In fact the proposals failed on so many points that the legal advisor to the Council is to meet with the Dev Committee to accurately record the reasons for refusal, I imagine, to deter the possibility of having to go through the whole process again.

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In fact the proposals failed on so many points that the legal advisor to the Council is to meet with the Dev Committee to accurately record the reasons for refusal, I imagine, to deter the possibility of having to go through the whole process again.

 

That doesn't usually happen. I dont remember the legal adviser being so involved with precise reasons for refusals before. Perhaps they are getting better after all :wink::?

 

Sorry if this is a daft question but do English Partnerships own the both current Bewesey Hall buildings and all the land?

 

And also, if so, did they comment at all on the proposals at the decision meeting?

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... the absolute lack of community benefit...

 

Contributing to the economic regeneration of the area and the enhancement of its environment (including other listed buildings) are community benefits.

 

But so are other less obvious ones, and presumably the main community benefit argued was providing a long-term solution to what to do with a significant listed building.

 

I'm just acutely aware of other listed buildings not finding an alternative use because of opposition (often from conservation officers) and then they just deteriorate.

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