Thursday, December 29, 2005

Tesco's act of goodwill?

A reported earlier (see posting here) Tesco has submitted a retroactive planning application for the 18,000 feet extra they accidentally built.

Stockport Express have revealed that as 'an act of goodwill', Tesco will put in a wall which will cut of 6,000 feet which will be unused or else used for storage, leaving only 12,000 feet of additional shopping space.

The Express Reports
But while leading council planner Kevin Hogg admitted this could end the year-long saga, he remains sceptical.

He said: "If this happens it could potentially draw a line under the whole issue. But with Tesco you are never quite sure what it says is what it will do."

And Steve Parfett, managing director of Parfett and Sons, who has led the campaign against the store’s breach of planning permission, maintains the 120,000 sq ft outlet should be knocked down.
Follow this link to the Stockport Express for the full report

Friday, December 23, 2005

Christmas Party, The Old Pack Horse - 21/12/05

photo by Coral DranfieldA good time was had by all at the Trust's Christmas party.

The Stockport Heritage Trust wishes all it's readers in Stockport, the UK and the rest of the World, festive greetings and a Happy New Year.

photo by Coral Dranfield

photo by Coral Dranfield

No to Masts - Stockport Express

50ft mast opponents are on a high, says the Express headline. Well with opponents that tall, it is not surprising T Mobile lost.

MAST campaigners were celebrating their latest victory after a 50ft mast plan in Romiley was rejected out by members of the Werneth area committee. ...
Mr Gaubert said the group planned to lobby British Waterways to enforce a blanket ban on siting masts on its land. He added: "No doubt this will not be the last application in Romiley for a mast but it remains our intention to vehemently oppose future applications, which by their nature cause so much upset and concern to residents."

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Future Stockport - supplementary planning document

There other items on the "e agenda", referred to in the previous posting, which make interesting reading. If you follow the above link and then open the acrobat file under Item 9, you will find a Supplementary Planning Document. With 62 pages, some of it is heavy reading, but a lot of it is repeating the contents of the Masterplan and brings together a lot of the graphics. What it seems to add is an assessment of how the Masterplan is expected to assist regeneration. This could be considered the meat of the proposals.

There has been some discussion as to whether we like the 'look' of the plans and whether this money well spent. This is the document that explains how the plans will boost Stockport's economy.

Another important document, is the second document under item 8. You have to be a very patient reader to go through all that, but it is a response to all those who have requested modifications to the Unitary Development Plan. I am afraid I will have to leave that to someone else to get to grips with.

Council Executive discusses the Market

An "e agenda" of the 12 December is available on SMBC site, follow the link above. It includes documents submitted to the Executive. I have put the text of the papers relating to the Market as comments to this posting, but to view them in their original format, you can find them embedded in the "e agenda".

The good news is that they are talking about re-affirming their support for the Market and raising it's profile.
The bad news is that whereas Steve Burns has told me that he doesn't envision the Produce Hall closing as a market hall, nowhere do these documents contradict the Quarterbridge and New Market report.

The document ends:

It is recommended that the Executive:

1. Notes the summary contents and recommendations of the Quarterbridge and New Market Solutions reports.

2. Recognises the wider economic, social, environmental and tourism importance of the market, and in the light of this confirms its commitment to the market operation.

3. Requests that a detailed three year action plan be drawn up, based on the recommendations of the reports, and aiming towards a break even situation for the market by the end of the action plan period (2008/9)

4. Agrees to work towards securing resources for the future management/development of the market, in line with its budget making activities and priorities.

5. Notes the summary contents and recommendations of the Quarterbridge and New Market Solutions reports.

6. Recognises the wider economic, social, environmental and tourism importance of the market, and in the light of this confirms its commitment to the market operation.

7. Requests that a detailed three year action plan be drawn up, based on the recommendations of the reports, and aiming towards a break even situation for the market by the end of the action plan period (2008/9)

8. Agrees to work towards securing resources for the future management/development of the market, in line with its budget making activities and priorities.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

More planning news

DC021688 Royal Cheadle Hospital (a listed building) is seeking permission for erection of a fence. Information Office: Heald Green Library, Finney La, Heald Green.

DC021650 At the site of the former Coronation Mill & Bankside Mill, Coronation Street, Reddish, it is proposed to demolish and clear existing buildings and build 10 new industrial units. Information Office: Reddish Centre, Houldsworth Sq, 2 Gorton Rd.

DC021695 A barn to be converted to a house, including a two storey extension - Chorlton Fold Farm, off Springbank Rd, Woodley. Information office: Bredbury Library, George La, Bredbury.

To learn more, look up the application number at the planning database.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Brookside Farm to become 5 dwellings

An application has been made to erect 5 dwellings at Brookside Farm, Torkington Road, Hazel Grove. Consultation expiry 31/12/05. Plans can be viewed at Hazel Grove Centre, Civic Hall, London Road.

Click here for the plans. You can get more details by looking up DC021588 at the planning database.

See map.

Churchgate Mill, Lavender Brow - updated

An application has been re-submitted to convert Churchgate Mill, into fifteen apartments with associated car parking. See map.

Click here to see one of the plans. More information available by looking up DC021603 on the planning database. Or see the plans at Hygarth House, 103 Wellington Rd South.

Tescos goes legal

We have all heard how Tescos accidentally built a store larger than it was supposed to be. Well they have finally got round to asking for retrospective permission. See DC021611 in the SMBC planning database.
"This report confirms that the store ... has had no adverse impact on the vitality and viability of any shopping centre in the catchment area."

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Stockport Times news - 8 Dec

Plaza photo by Bill Hoad
Father Christmas is coming to Bramall Hall 18 Dec, 11am-5pm.

A multi-million pound Heritage lottery Fund bid is being prepared for the Plaza. The result of the bid will not be known until Summer. If it is successfuly, a second, larger bid is planned. (I have looked on the Plaza website, but there is no information there.)

Steve Burns (SMBC Regen) is trying to find a future for Gatley's Tatton Cinema but says he has had no response from its owners while another developer has shown interest. The Cheadle Area Committee supported the planning department's proposal to prepare a planning brief and recommended that SMBC consider a compulsory purchase order.

Stitchers & Quizzes

Sarah CottonWednesday's meeting was as informative as ever.

There was a brief management meeting before hand to discuss plans for a public talk to be held at St Mary's next year and a discussion on the Glass Umbrella HLF bid. The main conclusion concerning the market was that making the Produce Hall more spacious had really spoilt the Produce Market and the same shouldn't happen in the Covered Market.

Item 1For the members meeting, Sarah Cotton of SMBC gave a power point presentation on the Staircase House Stitchers project. There are now over 50 stitchers, including 3 men. We learnt that some of the larger items such as curtains for the Trust's tester bed may take several years each to stitch but that there are a number of smaller items that will also be developed. Frank Galvin (SMBC) showed us the stag he had embroidered.

Item 2We agreed that it would be good if Bramall Hall also had a group of stitchers, but we would want to be a separate group with its own identity, rather than expand the remit of the existing Staircase House group.

Item 3One dissappointment was that stitchers will not working in the exhibition rooms of the House wearing period costume. This would have added a lot of character to the House. Unfortunately the rooms are not light enough. I suppose damaging eyesight is one step to authenticity too far.

Item 4Then followed the quiz organised by Kevin and Coral Dranfield. As well questions on people and places, there was the challenge to identify period pieces including some on loan from Stockport Community Services. A few are shown here. If you want to guess what they are, then leave a comment and I will reveal the answers later.

Item 5Item 6

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Glass Umbrella HLF bid update

Last week we had to tell SMBC we could not support the Heritage Lottery Fund bid for the Glass Umbrella. We are in favour of investment in the long term future of the Market, but the plans lacked the confidence of the Market traders we identified various weaknesses to the plan which gave us reason to think it might undermine the commercial viability of the Market and not protect the Heritage of the Marketplace.

We have now been told that SMBC are going to delay the bid until January, during which time SMBC want to collaborate with the traders, the Trust and other interested bodies to produce a bid which can gain general support.

On 12 December, SMBC are going to debate a statement which would define their strategy for the Market. It is hoped that this will give a clear vision for the future.

This is an opportunity for the Trust and the public to be involved the process.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Stockport Heritage Magazine hits the newstands

Magazine cover
Originally uploaded by Bill.
The latest edition of Stockport Heritage Magazine hit the newstands this week. Contents include:
the first Mersey tunnel;
a band called Toggery;
Heaton Norris waterwheel;
Ghostly ladies of Offerton;
Marple's coalmine; and
tradgedy on Mealhouse Brow.

You will find it in all good newsagents and at the Heritage Centre.

Staircase House reflected in the Glass Umbrella

Change of frontage - 2 Little Underbank

This doorway would goThe owner of 2 Little Underbank has applied to simplify the frontage. Click here for a "before" and "after" sketch and click here for a map which shows where No. 2 is.

With dark blue paint, the details are hard to see, so I think this change will do little to detract from the Underbanks. If someone wants to object, they have until 11 December to object, but remember, placing restrictions on shops may impact on the commercial viability of the shop and deter investment in the area.

The owner hopes to make the change by 9 January 2006.

Celebration Beam

If you want to view the belated planning application for the "Celebration Beam" in the Merseyway, search for application number DC021404 on the planning database. The public has until 10 December to object.

Abney Hall cycleway

I don't see why the Cheadle Civic Society object to the plans for a gateway for a cycle path. The application by SMBC can be found as DC021413 in their planning database. You can view the plan here.

A plan of the cycleway can be seen here.

If anyone feels the need to object, then you have until 10 December.

Previous posting on 24 November 2005.

Winter Wonderland - 3/12/05

Marple Bridge's Winter Wonderland looks like being a great success. I think the Trust should give serious thought to having a stall next year. All the stalls seemed very busy, so I am sure it boost our coffers, much more so than Chadkirk Festival. Of course, it can be colder, but it is only 3 hours.

Hat Mill could be apartments - Stockport Times

Another heritage apartment development story in the Stockport Times. St Thomas Hatworks could be converted into a large apartment complex. Manchester Antiques, which owns and occupies the land, at St Thomas Place, Hillgate, has submitted a planning application for 77 flats - some of which would be in the restored mill buildings. The remainder would be in 2 new four-storey blocks.
The complex will consist of 32 one-bedroom and 45 two-bedroom flats - some with balconies.
St Thomas Hatworks was founded in 1872 by William Harrison. The hatworks shipped a variety of designs around the globe but it shut in 1920 and then became a textile factory.

For a lot more information on the planning application search for application number DC021312 on SMBC's application database. Having found the application, click on Documents at the bottom of the page for access to a large number of plans, of which the two below are just examples.
Site plan.

(There is also application number DC021313, but as far as I can see this is a mistake and is a duplication of DC021312.)

Woodbank Hall - Stockport Times

Woodbank HallWoodbank Hall apartments
You heard it here first, that SMBC is thinking of disposing of Woodbank Hall. Now Stockport Times also has the news. A council spokesperson said, "The hall is costly to maintain at public expense, and not very suitable for accomodating staff, but we do not want to see it boarded up. No decision has yet been taken over the future use of the hall. It is not yet for sale but could well be in the future." Any capital raised from the sale would be reinvested in the park.
The Trust has already written to the Charities Commission to ask what protection they can give to this Grade II listed building which was gifted to Stopfordians in 1921 by Sir Thomas Rowbotham JP as a memorial to the men of Stockport who lost their lives in WWI. SMBC intend to sell a long term lease which would presumably circumvent the conditions of the gift.
Entrance to Woodbank ParkI have difficulty believing that anyone will be interest. It's a long way from the road. Residents will need a car just to get to Turncroft Lane, but on the other hand it can hardly be described solitary sitting as it does in the middle of a public park. Will buyers be warned of the ghost?
The Trust doesn't object to the sale on principal, so long as the internal and external character is preserved.
Previous postings
Reply from Charity Commission - 24/10/05.
Disposal of Woodbank Hall - 8/10/05

Friday, December 02, 2005

Trust Monthly meeting - Staircase House Stitchers presentation & Quiz Night

8pm, Wednesday 7 December, The Old Rectory, Churchgate.

Two events at this months Trust meeting:

Staircase House Stitchers presentation. Sarah Cotton and Frank Galvin will describe progress of the project we are funding to involve Stopfordians in Staircase House and, at the same time, decorating the House with period furnishings.

Quiz Night. Members have been asking for a Quiz night, so here it is. Test your knowledge of Stockports history and heritage.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Staircase House Stitchers

Forty nine stitchers attended either the afternoon and evening session, on 22 November. Stitchers had been practicing their stitch work at home. This week they traced out medieval designs to try out.

For more on the project follow this link.