WARRINGTON Civic Society say they would have opposed the demolition of the iconic Garnett’s cabinet works water tower which they say will be a “sad loss to the town’s heritage and skyline.”
But they have welcomed news of the proposed restoration of the oldest building on the site – the former industrial school and council offices.
As revealed by warrington-worldwide yesterday, Garnett Cabinet Works building on Barbauld Street, Warrington, will be demolished due to its unsafe and dangerous condition.
A Court order has been issued under Section 77 of the Building Act 1984 for the demolition of the building which has been unoccupied for more than 60 years.
Warrington borough Council, who purchased the building last year from private owners, say demolition contractors will initially hoard off the site in order to preserve public safety and then commence immediate demolition works.
Civic Society Chair John Shipley said: “The demolition of the cabinet works, and especially the water tower, will be a sad loss to the town’s heritage and skyline.
“Whilst we accept that certain parts of the buildings are unsafe, Warrington Civic Society did not feel that demolition of the entire site was necessary and would have objected had that been proposed in a planning application.
“Unfortunately, due to the legal route taken by the Council that was not possible.”
John added: “We are pleased that restoration is proposed for oldest building on the site, the former industrial school and council offices.
“Whatever development eventually replaces the cabinet works must also be of the highest possible standard. The buildings have been unused since at least the 1990s and earlier intervention would have allowed a different outcome.
“The loss of the cabinet works highlights the importance of taking a proactive stance and this story of neglect and decay must not be repeated with the town’s remaining heritage.”
The site is a key location within Warrington Borough Council’s framework for growth Warrington Means Business. It will provide a direct link between the £130 million Time Square regeneration project and Warrington’s Cultural Quarter and help grow Warrington town centre’s leisure economy. It will allow easy access across town from the bars, restaurants and cultural amenities surrounding Queens Gardens over to the Time Square project with its multiplex cinema, restaurants and new Market Hall.
Once cleared the site will initially be utilised as a temporary car park before works commence on an eventual residential scheme, subject to planning permission
The former Council office building to the rear of the property adjacent to the Cairo Street Chapel is currently being refurbished by a private developer with the intention of creating it into a restaurant.