WARRINGTON Civic Society has commended the approach taken by Warrington Borough Council to emergency works at the historic Garnett’s Cabinet Works in the town centre – and is now calling on the council to preserve the site.
Emergency works took place at the weekend to make parts of the building, safe following damage by vandals.
Civic Society Chairman John Shipley said: “We were particularly pleased with the use of a mobile platform from Barbauld Street for access rather than the partial demolition of former Industrial School originally proposed by the owner’s appointed contractor.
“We felt that the supervision of the works by Building Control Manager Tony Gartside was careful and ensured the works were kept to a minimum. We were also glad to hear that no other removal of fabric is envisaged necessary as part of the emergency works.
Mr Shipley added: “Following the emergency works, it remains our view that the Council should serve a Section 215 notice under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, thus taking authoritative control of the situation. This would also need to be matched by a corporate approach approach from the Council’s leaders.”
He said Warrington Civic Society was calling on the council to commit to preserving as much of the site’s heritage as possible.
“We advocate that this approach should be conservation led and with the immediate involvement of accredited conservation officials. This would best allow the Council to fulfil its legal duty under Section 72 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 which requires ‘that special attention shall be paid in the exercise of planning functions to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of a Conservation Area.2
He said Section 215 had been successfully applied by other local authorities for derelict unlisted buildings in Conservation Areas.
“Rather than continued dereliction and decay, Warrington Civic Society want a positive outcome for the site, where these heritage assets can be harnessed to enhance the Conservation Area and the town centre as a whole. We look forward to working with anybody who shares our aims,” added Mr Shipley.