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Author Topic: Marple Wharf Development  (Read 20480 times)

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Dave

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Re: Marple Wharf Development
« Reply #64 on: September 16, 2017, 02:41:52 PM »
It's a pity it's come to this. I can't help thinking that if the Civic Society and the Local History Society, with support from SMBC, had got together with BW/ CRT years ago and submitted a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the conversion of the old warehouse into a visitor centre, it all might have turned out quite differently. But it looks to be too late for that now.

Ozymandias

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Re: Marple Wharf Development
« Reply #63 on: September 16, 2017, 05:24:10 AM »
I can't speak on behalf of New Horizons but I can see that they are in a difficult position. Whether or not they pay a commercial rent for their facility, they are tenants of Canal and River Trust and therefore dependent on that organisation's goodwill. If they were to criticise the proposed arrangements they could be jeopardising their own future.

andrewbowden

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Re: Marple Wharf Development
« Reply #62 on: September 15, 2017, 08:42:54 PM »
Hmmm, what a load of NIMBY nonsense.

I read in their minutes the other week that they were aware that they were seen in some quarters as being a negative organisation that only exists to oppose planning applications - and used in their defence that there had been 25 recent planning applications and that they had only commented on one, forgetting to mention that it had been a negative comment and thus disproving the point they were trying to make.

So their objections are:
  • Inadequate parking
  • Waste disposal
  • inadequate facilities and access for New Horizons trip boat
  • inadequate services for pleasure boats
  • a complete disregard for the unique heritage

1 & 2 are basically objecting that the parking spaces and wheelie bin storage are too far from the front doors of the houses! Seriously, that's considered a reason to object to a planning application? Good job they weren't around 100 years ago or else my terrace house would never have been built!

3 & 4 I don't know enough about, but I'm surprised that it is something that should be considered in a planning application as sure that is a "business" decision for the Canal operators to sort.

5 is just a nonsense statement. The building is an industrial remnant. It'll never be used for it's original purpose again. Turning it into housing, so that there will be interested parties who have to maintain it, is probably the best outcome, and gives the Trust money to maintain the rest of the waterways.

I am well up for mandating the warehouse is restored to its original use.

As for New Horizons, i would prefer to know their thoughts.  Do they tally?  Are they happy with the proposals.  Cos it wouldn't be the first time that loads of people have spoken on an organisations behalf on an issue the organisation have no problem with...

andrewbowden

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Re: Marple Wharf Development
« Reply #61 on: September 15, 2017, 08:34:25 PM »
Perhaps then the Trust's objects need to be changed to explicitly prevent developments like these and ensure that housing is not an acceptable use for any significant buildings.

Let us know when you manage that.

Condate

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Re: Marple Wharf Development
« Reply #60 on: September 15, 2017, 07:19:55 PM »
I'm sure someone could argue quite strongly that converting the warehouse to housing, gives the building a strong, sustainable future.  Thus 2.2 would be met by conserving the building in a new use.  It does not state that conserving buildings have to be in their original use after all.

As for 2.5, well you could argue on the detail of that one until the cows come home on that one.  But ultimately they do a lot of work already in that respect.

Perhaps then the Trust's objects need to be changed to explicitly prevent developments like these and ensure that housing is not an acceptable use for any significant buildings.

marpleexile

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Re: Marple Wharf Development
« Reply #59 on: September 15, 2017, 07:16:32 AM »
Marple Civic Society has posted some more details and comments about this a couple of days ago:

http://marplecivicsociety.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/marple-wharf-planning-application-how.html

Hmmm, what a load of NIMBY nonsense.

I read in their minutes the other week that they were aware that they were seen in some quarters as being a negative organisation that only exists to oppose planning applications - and used in their defence that there had been 25 recent planning applications and that they had only commented on one, forgetting to mention that it had been a negative comment and thus disproving the point they were trying to make.

So their objections are:
  • Inadequate parking
  • Waste disposal
  • inadequate facilities and access for New Horizons trip boat
  • inadequate services for pleasure boats
  • a complete disregard for the unique heritage

1 & 2 are basically objecting that the parking spaces and wheelie bin storage are too far from the front doors of the houses! Seriously, that's considered a reason to object to a planning application? Good job they weren't around 100 years ago or else my terrace house would never have been built!

3 & 4 I don't know enough about, but I'm surprised that it is something that should be considered in a planning application as sure that is a "business" decision for the Canal operators to sort.

5 is just a nonsense statement. The building is an industrial remnant. It'll never be used for it's original purpose again. Turning it into housing, so that there will be interested parties who have to maintain it, is probably the best outcome, and gives the Trust money to maintain the rest of the waterways.

admin

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Re: Marple Wharf Development
« Reply #58 on: September 15, 2017, 05:34:46 AM »
Marple Civic Society has posted some more details and comments about this a couple of days ago:

http://marplecivicsociety.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/marple-wharf-planning-application-how.html
Mark Whittaker

The Marple Website

andrewbowden

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Re: Marple Wharf Development
« Reply #57 on: September 12, 2017, 09:11:16 AM »
I'm sure someone could argue quite strongly that converting the warehouse to housing, gives the building a strong, sustainable future.  Thus 2.2 would be met by conserving the building in a new use.  It does not state that conserving buildings have to be in their original use after all.

As for 2.5, well you could argue on the detail of that one until the cows come home on that one.  But ultimately they do a lot of work already in that respect. 

admin

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Re: Marple Wharf Development
« Reply #56 on: September 12, 2017, 06:46:50 AM »
H2O Urban are a property development company.  They go in, they develop the site, they move on.  They don't want a long term interest.  That's not their job after all.  So let's not be particular surprised by the fact that their focus is on making money, for THAT is their business.  Their entire reason for existing is to develop sites for CRT, and making money for the two shareholders, one of which is CRT. 

Converting to housing makes them more money.  Money that would, of course, be partly used to redevelop the building.  Conversion to housing offers no risk - you make the house and move on.  Conversion to a visitor centre offers lots of risk because of funding.

  Someone might work out say three years funding, and then it dries up afterwards.  What then?  Covert to housing?  Well that is extra cost.  Plus you then have to consider planning permission, and here things get more awkward because now you are trying to take something away that previously existed.  It's one thing to deny the ability to setup something that didn't exist.  And it's a whole different thing to try take away the facility that did exist.  Even if it is one that failed. 

I totally get why they want to go with a safer option.  And i totally get why they are only prepared to counter changing the plan if they have solid financial commitment. 

They are protecting the CRT from financial risk.

What's the alternative in all this?  It's a shabby looking building doing very little.

But money isn't all that it's about, although that may be the case for H20 it isn't for CRT.
The Canal and River Trust is a charity with objectives that are primarily for the public benefit.
So maybe they should be seeking a balance between these objectives and focus a little more on 2.2 and 2.5, even if it means they have to invest some of the money they make from the houses back into the immediate area and even if it does present some risks in order to achieve a better balance of their objectives at Marple Wharf:

2. Objects

The Trust’s objects are:

2.1 to preserve, protect, operate and manage Inland Waterways for public benefit:
      2.1.1 for navigation;
      2.1.2 for walking on towpaths; and
      2.1.3 for recreation or other leisure - time pursuits of the public in the interest of their health and social welfare;

2.2 to protect and conserve for public benefit sites, objects and buildings of archaeological, architectural, engineering or historic interest on, in the vicinity of, or otherwise associated with Inland Waterways;

2.3 to further for the public benefit the conservation protection and improvement of the natural environment and landscape of Inland Waterways;

2.4 to promote, facilitate, undertake and assist in, for public benefit, the restoration and improvement of Inland Waterways;

2.5 to promote and facilitate for public benefit awareness, learning and education about Inland Waterways, their history, development, use, operation and cultural heritage by all appropriate
means including the provision of museums;


2.6 to promote sustainable development in the vicinity of any Inland Waterway for the benefit of the public, in particular by:
      2.6.1 the improvement of the conditions of life in socially and economically disadvantaged communities in such vicinity; and
      2.6.2 the promotion of sustainable means of achieving economic growth and regeneration and the prudent use of natural resources; and

2.7 to further any purpose which is exclusively charitable under the law of England and Wales connected with Inland Waterways;

provided that in each case where the Trust undertakes work in relation to property which it does not own or hold in trust, any private benefit to the owner of the property is merely incidental
Mark Whittaker

The Marple Website

andrewbowden

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Re: Marple Wharf Development
« Reply #55 on: September 11, 2017, 10:34:39 PM »
The matter of the business plan is more complicated than it appears at first sight. CRT have signed over all their rights to a company called H2O. This is a joint venture between CRT and a property company. The development is being proposed by H2O and they are very much in the driving seat - CRT is effectively a sleeping partner but will take half the final profit.

The warehouse is worth much more with planning permission for conversion into a house so that is what H2O is aiming for. Without planning permission the warehouse is worth perhaps £50,000 but with it, the value rises to £250,000. H2O say they are willing to consider a business plan but it must be a plan that gives them £250,000. In other words, they are assuming that they will get planning permission for the warehouse. Moreover, they have set themselves up as judge and jury of any business plan that will be put forward. They have no interest in developing the canal and no interest in any community use. What they want is to move in, make a conversion, sell it and then go away. There is no long term interest.

H2O Urban are a property development company.  They go in, they develop the site, they move on.  They don't want a long term interest.  That's not their job after all.  So let's not be particular surprised by the fact that their focus is on making money, for THAT is their business.  Their entire reason for existing is to develop sites for CRT, and making money for the two shareholders, one of which is CRT. 

Converting to housing makes them more money.  Money that would, of course, be partly used to redevelop the building.  Conversion to housing offers no risk - you make the house and move on.  Conversion to a visitor centre offers lots of risk because of funding.

  Someone might work out say three years funding, and then it dries up afterwards.  What then?  Covert to housing?  Well that is extra cost.  Plus you then have to consider planning permission, and here things get more awkward because now you are trying to take something away that previously existed.  It's one thing to deny the ability to setup something that didn't exist.  And it's a whole different thing to try take away the facility that did exist.  Even if it is one that failed. 

I totally get why they want to go with a safer option.  And i totally get why they are only prepared to counter changing the plan if they have solid financial commitment. 

They are protecting the CRT from financial risk.

What's the alternative in all this?  It's a shabby looking building doing very little.


amazon

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Re: Marple Wharf Development
« Reply #54 on: September 11, 2017, 07:45:31 PM »
The matter of the business plan is more complicated than it appears at first sight. CRT have signed over all their rights to a company called H2O. This is a joint venture between CRT and a property company. The development is being proposed by H2O and they are very much in the driving seat - CRT is effectively a sleeping partner but will take half the final profit.

The warehouse is worth much more with planning permission for conversion into a house so that is what H2O is aiming for. Without planning permission the warehouse is worth perhaps £50,000 but with it, the value rises to £250,000. H2O say they are willing to consider a business plan but it must be a plan that gives them £250,000. In other words, they are assuming that they will get planning permission for the warehouse. Moreover, they have set themselves up as judge and jury of any business plan that will be put forward. They have no interest in developing the canal and no interest in any community use. What they want is to move in, make a conversion, sell it and then go away. There is no long term interest.
Very informative .Thank you .

Ozymandias

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Re: Marple Wharf Development
« Reply #53 on: September 11, 2017, 06:25:55 PM »
The matter of the business plan is more complicated than it appears at first sight. CRT have signed over all their rights to a company called H2O. This is a joint venture between CRT and a property company. The development is being proposed by H2O and they are very much in the driving seat - CRT is effectively a sleeping partner but will take half the final profit.

The warehouse is worth much more with planning permission for conversion into a house so that is what H2O is aiming for. Without planning permission the warehouse is worth perhaps £50,000 but with it, the value rises to £250,000. H2O say they are willing to consider a business plan but it must be a plan that gives them £250,000. In other words, they are assuming that they will get planning permission for the warehouse. Moreover, they have set themselves up as judge and jury of any business plan that will be put forward. They have no interest in developing the canal and no interest in any community use. What they want is to move in, make a conversion, sell it and then go away. There is no long term interest.

hatter76

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Re: Marple Wharf Development
« Reply #52 on: September 11, 2017, 06:12:07 PM »
Sorry, don't understand why people are against this. Its been semi derelict for many years, attracting anti social behaviour. Giving the warehouse a purpose and building much needed homes can only be a good thing IMO!

Dave

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Re: Marple Wharf Development
« Reply #51 on: September 11, 2017, 04:16:00 PM »
It's good to know that the Civic Society have actually put together a business plan for the redevelopment of the warehouse as a visitor centre.  So they need to produce it.  If the the plan looks viable then obviously it would be a preferable solution to residential use.

The way to deal with unwelcome proposals is not to be negative, but to come up with a credible counter proposal.

admin

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Re: Marple Wharf Development
« Reply #50 on: September 11, 2017, 12:37:18 PM »
I've merged this new thread with the old one going back as far as 2009 on the same subject.

It does seem a shame that it is not possible to satisfy CRT's need to raise funds and to preserve our heritage as well. You see things like Marple Civic Society are proposing with historic canal buildings in many places and I'm not sure why it wouldn't be possible in Marple if there was a will to work together. There did seem to be some good progress being made over quite a few years but recently the Civic Society has withdrawn from discussions with CRT and CRT says (within their planning application) that MCS hasn't provided a business plan. Yet MCS's August minutes say that they do have a business plan, so I'm not sure what's going on or why discussions have broken down.

This quote from the document put together by the History Society and Civic Society seems pretty reasonable to me:

Quote
Our alternative
Although we don’t like such high density development and the lack of public access, we recognise the need for CRT to capitalise on its assets. Therefore we reluctantly accept the current proposal for new build housing, even though we would prefer fewer houses but we believe that the warehouse should be retained as close to its original form as possible. In their own site appraisal CRT acknowledge that the warehouse, toll house and toll cottages form an important part of the historic canal corridor.
 
We would like to see the warehouse developed by CRT jointly with the community, into an information and tourist centre for the canal network and local area, providing a convivial place for both the community and visitors. The upper floor can be hired out to local groups for their regular use, bringing in additional revenue. The two historic artefacts (crane and weigh machine) could be moved to a place adjacent to the warehouse. A development such as this would preserve the key historic features of the site and it would even add value to the houses by providing a focus for them.

The rest of the document can be viewed via this link: http://www.marplelocalhistorysociety.org.uk/images/pdfs/marple_wharf_development.pdf

I'm not sure how well this is going to work for New Horizons either. It is good that there is a provision for them, as originally they were being asked to move elsewhere. However, the finish on the surfaces they would need to use to get to and from the boat is shown as cobbles (reclaimed setts) which is going to be very difficult for wheelchairs. Additionally, I understand it is proposed that they use the general service mooring to load passengers. How will that work if it is occupied - will NH have priority? I guess these issues are for New Horizon's to comment on and to tell us if they need support from the community to give extra weight to any concerns they may have. 
Mark Whittaker

The Marple Website