28 June 2010
against the community was committed on Friday 25 June 2010 when housing
developer Worksharp EcoHomes of Southport demolished the historic Great
Wirral Borough Council's Planning Committee had met
on 1st June and deferred making its decision whether to approve the
proposals for 10 new semi-detached houses until 6th July. However, the developer
had recently turned some members of the community against this landmark building
by deliberately opening it up for vandals to hasten its demise. In what
is perceived to be a raspberry blown at local protestors seeking to save
this historic building, the developer demolished it before the planning
committee could get to see it.
pub was not listed nor in a conservation area, planning regulations
allow building owners to demolish their buildings if they wish to do so
- without having to ask anyone's permission. This flawed planning
policy has allowed many other similar historic buildings to be destroyed
around the country for the last 30 years.
148 years of
unique history were snuffed out by the short-sightedness and monetary greed of
this developer seeking to make a quick profit out of destroying one of our
community's historic landmark assets. The mistakes of the 1960s and
1970s - when many historic buildings were demolished in our towns and
cities to make way for "modern" buildings (many of which have since been
demolished themselves because of their comparative poor quality and
design) have not been learned. Landmark buildings are what give a
community its identity; not by turning it into endless rows of bland,
cheap domestic architecture. Without landmarks, communities such as New
Ferry will become as anonymous as a suburb of Telford.
allowed this to happen should hang their heads in shame.
The Council's planning officers are
recommending approval of the new housing scheme, despite some allowances being made
which will result in the new houses to be built closer to the existing homes
in Clipper View than national guidelines permit. Clipper View residents
had better be ready to have their new neighbours looking directly into
their rear bedroom windows when the conifer hedge eventually comes down
after the new homes go up.
In 2008, a
planning application by another developer to demolish the pub to make
way for two blocks of apartments was rejected by the planning committee
as being "unsuitable for the site".
At the end
of April, at the close of the consultation period on the planning
application, a petition with over 400 names of those objecting to the
proposals was handed in to the Council to be considered. You can
view the electronic part of the petition with nearly 150 names and
here. As a community, we would
have expected our combined voices to be heard and have a planning policy
which reflects community wishes. Instead, that policy only seems
to pander to the whims of individuals and organisations wanting to make
a profit by abusing their own properties to the detriment of the
communities in which they are situated.
See a series
of photos below that were taken by resident Martin Morrow as the
developer's workmen tore the last of the building down.