Monday 23 November 2009

Watling Gate

The house, called Watling Gate, is a Listed Building, and during the time it has been under the supposed protection of Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council, the art collection has been lost and the building has deteriorated to such a degree that it is no longer safe.

Thursday 19 November 2009

'In shops here, the level of attentiveness borders on a free social service'

We got mentioned in the Independent today Thursday, 19 November 2009.

“…It began when the local council, Trafford, splashed out £5,000 of our council tax on hiring a firm of surveyors to write to local businesses about the free car park down the road in Sale Moor to "invite interested parties to submit proposals for this land"…
…A group of local activists, calling themselves Trafford Heritage Society, got together a campaign against the supermarket plan. They raised a 2,500 signature petition, established a Sale Moor Covenant and set up a lively website… A victory for people power. Now there's a rarity in modern British political life.”

(Read the full story in today’s issue)

Wednesday 18 November 2009

Trafford Conservatives issue a secret message to the Traders of Sale Moor.

Prefaced by the statement ‘for your eyes only’ Trafford Conservative Councillors issued a message this week to the traders of Sale Moor seeking to claim credit for saving Warrener Street Car Park. The message, in the form of a paper document, was distributed only to the businesses in Sale Moor. It stated that the Leader of the Council made the decision to preserve the car park, purely on the weight of public opinion against development. The decision to retain Warrener Street car park was announced by the Council on Monday 09.11.09. Yet the Leader, Councillor Matthew Colledge stated in an e-mail to THS, on 08.11.09, (the day before) that

My earlier comments remain: there are no plans for developing Warrener Street Car Park.

So, Cllr Colledge, what were you intending to do with the car park, before you decided to preserve it ?

You can’t have it both ways !

Either you were intending to develop the car park and you decided against it in view of the overwhelming public outcry.

Or you never had any plans, as you claimed in your e-mail, in which case there would have been no need to announce your decision that you had decided to preserve it.

Click here to read the "secret message"...

Monday 2 November 2009

THS announces the ‘Sale Moor Covenant’

We now call upon Trafford Council to make this agreement with the People of Sale Moor. We expect every councillor, irrespective of the party they represent, to agree to this covenant.

The Sale Moor Covenant
1 There will be a moratorium in force on any development of the car park at Warrener Street for a minimum period of thirty years.

2 There will be no charge made for the use of the car park, irrespective of any recommendations by central government, or other external bodies.

3 There will be no sale of any land owned by the people of Trafford, which lies within Sale Moor. 1.(Land owned by the people is often referred to wrongly as ‘owned’ by the Council; the Council in fact owns nothing: it is the People2. who own the land).

4 There will be no demolition permitted of any building in Sale Moor ward without full consultation with the People of Sale Moor, except for reasons of safety.

5 There will be no planning permission given for the erection of any building in Sale Moor ward without full consultation with the People of Sale Moor.

6 There will be no permission for the establishment of any new business in Sale Moor village without full consultation with the People of Sale Moor, and a full consultation with the Traders to elicit an analysis of the likely effect on the retail ecology of the village.

7 The retail area of any new business will be restricted so as to maintain fair competition in the village.

8 There will be a financial programme of start-up incentives targeting new businesses in the village in order to broaden the retail provision. Concurrently, there will be a review of the trading conditions of existing businesses consistent with the maintenance of fair competition in the village. This programme will run for five years initially, with the prospect of renewal.

9 There will be a complete review of on-street parking in Sale Moor village, with a view to extending the period of time permitted, and the removal of parking restrictions in some places.

10 Financial support for the initiatives and improved conditions mentioned above will be found from Council Tax revenue, and not from any localised charges in the village.

1 Sale Moor is defined by the boundaries of the Sale Moor electoral ward.
2 ‘The People of Sale Moor’ are defined as belonging to one or more of four categories; the Traders, the Shoppers, the Residents and those who work in Sale Moor.

Friday 30 October 2009

People of Sale Moor!

The Leader of Trafford Council, Matthew Colledge, was quoted in the Messenger yesterday as offering a meeting with THS to discuss the findings of our petition and the overwhelming view in the village that there should not be redevelopment. His office offered today a meeting at the end of November. Trafford Heritage Society has declared this an insult to the People. THS is now asking the voters of Sale Moor to consider whether they are being well served by Cllr Christine Bailey and the Conservative Council.

- It is the Conservatives who have invited the redevelopment of Warrener Street car park, in the first place.
- It is the Conservatives who have failed to maintain the car park and the road leading to it.
- It is the local councillor, Christine Bailey, who has failed to support the campaign to save Warrener Street car park, and secure the long-term viability of the village.
- It is the local councillor, Christine Bailey who refuses to reply to e-mails and telephone messages from THS.
- It is the Conservative Leader, Matthew Colledge, who refuses to meet THS.

(Trafford Heritage Society remains unaligned with any political party)

Thursday 29 October 2009

Trafford Council responds!

Our campaign receives Front Page treatment in today’s Messenger (click her to read it). The Leader of Trafford Council, Matthew Colledge says he ‘is happy to meet’ our campaign team. However, we are unhappy to report that no offer of a meeting has been made by Cllr Colledge. THS contacted his office again this afternoon to take up his published offer, but no-one could confirm that a meeting would take place.

If this is not bad enough, Cllr Colledge is quoted in the Messenger as stating that there are no fixed proposals to redevelop Warrener Street car park. However, ‘fixed’ they might not be but the Council has been secretly plotting to develop this site. This letter was sent to a number of addresses adjacent to Warrener Street last August.

It is our view that Trafford Council is acting in an extremely duplicitous manner with regard to the future of Sale Moor and we strongly urge our supporters to e-mail, telephone or write to Cllr Colledge immediately and ask for an explanation of the conduct of the Council in this matter and to demand an immediate assurance that the Council will abstain from any further interference with Warrenener Street car park.

Please use the following contact details for Cllr Matthew Colledge (click her).

Monday 26 October 2009

Trafford Council rejects our request for a meeting!

Trafford Heritage Society requested a meeting with the Leader of Trafford Council to discuss the overwhelming view of the People that Sale Moor should not suffer ‘redevelopment’.

Dear Cllr Colledge,
You may be aware that Trafford Heritage Society has
been running a rolling petition in Sale Moor to take soundings on Trafford Council's stated intention to regenerate the village. The petition which is still ongoing has now greatly exceeded the paper petition which we collected to save the Sale Hotel; as I write it has reached about 2,000 signatories. We have also published sequences of still images, e-mail messages, transcripts of our hotline calls, and short films all of which contain feedback from the People of Sale Moor.

The People have spoken on this issue and have dismissed out of hand the Council’s proposals. However, Cllr Matthew Colledge, the Leader of Trafford Council, has rejected our request to discuss the future of Sale Moor, in the light of the responses we have received.

"...Further to your recent email to Cllr Colledge, unfortunately an early meeting is not possible due to diary commitments."

This seems to us to be another example of the contempt in which the People are held by Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council.

Sunday 25 October 2009

Trafford Heritage Society seeks meeting with Matthew Colledge!

The rolling petition to save Warrenener Street Car Park has reached 2,000 signatories, and THS has asked for a meeting with the Leader of Trafford Council, Matthew Colledge. Trafford Heritage Society is the first and only group to have campaigned against the Conservative proposal to ‘redevelop’ the car park and ‘regenerate’ Sale Moor. Cheetham and Mortimer, the Chartered Surveyors, were commissioned, at a cost to taxpayers of £5,000, to invite expressions of interest for development of the car park and adjoining property. But the people of Sale Moor have given the ‘thumbs down’ to anything, other than the maintenance of free parking in the village. Trafford Heritage Society requested a meeting with Cllr Colledge several days ago, but so far, the Leader has not responded to this invitation.

Wednesday 21 October 2009

The Cat is Out of the Bag!

Trafford Heritage Society has obtained, under a Freedom of Information request, the following;

Trafford Council, at the request of Cllr Mike Cornes, has expended £5,000 of public money, on consultations and other services, in order to ‘develop’ Warrener Street Car Park, Sale Moor.

- No-one asked the People of Trafford if they were willing to support this expenditure.
- No-one asked the People of Sale Moor if they wanted their car park ‘developed.’
- No-one asked the People of Sale Moor if they wanted a supermarket.

Trafford Council continually bleats about being underfunded yet Cllr Cornes feels that he has the permission of the People to waste a four figure sum of money, pursuing something which the people do not want.

Well, Trafford Heritage Society has asked the People, and the People have spoken. The rolling petition against any development, save a little resurfacing, has reached nearly 2,000 signatories. Even Conservative councillors, who tacitly support Cllr Cornes, are publicly calling for ‘no development’.

Monday 19 October 2009

Save 85 Broad Road, Sale !

This fine house was bought in very good condition, several years ago by a developer wishing to demolish it and build an extensive block of flats. Planning permission was refused and the owner has done nothing with the building since then. Lack of maintenance has reduced the old house from its former grand state to its present disgraceful condition. Trafford Council has done little to mend matters and is now considering demolition. Trafford Heritage Society is now calling on you to support the preservation of this house. Rachael Lewis takes up the story.

Sunday 18 October 2009

Hear the views of Sale Moor!

"...No I think it should stay as it is. It's why we come here. It would be a real shame..."


Trafford Heritage Society spent Saturday, 10th October in Sale Moor interviewing shoppers about their views on plans to regenerate Sale Moor and Warrener Street car park.

Thursday 15 October 2009

Hear the views of Sale Moor!

"...I'm totally against the supermarket. The area does not warrant it. It has a nice village feel. You can just wander about and meet folk..."


Trafford Heritage Society spent Saturday, 10th October in Sale Moor interviewing shoppers about their views on plans to regenerate Sale Moor and Warrener Street car park.

Wednesday 14 October 2009

Hear the views of Sale Moor!

"...I've always used the car park. I love the car park there. We have enough shops. I know a few people are for it but they can go to the big shops in Sale. I use it all the time if I have a lot to carry..."


Trafford Heritage Society spent Saturday, 10th October in Sale Moor interviewing shoppers about their views on plans to regenerate Sale Moor and Warrener Street car park.

Tuesday 13 October 2009

Hear the views of Sale Moor!

"...I have two points: 1) It's the only place you can park here. It's the only large car park easily accessible. 2) To build a supermarket there would finish off these nice shops. That's what happened in Sale. There is not a single greengrocers in Sale. It's still alive but it won't be here. It has a village feel and it would go..."


Trafford Heritage Society spent Saturday, 10th October in Sale Moor interviewing shoppers about their views on plans to regenerate Sale Moor and Warrener Street car park.

Hear the views of Sale Moor!

"...No they should leave it as it is. It'll be the death of the high street. The money would be better spent on giving us a better car park and resurfacing. We've got great local shops. They took a while to recover from the 80s and we want to keep them open..."

Mrs. Howarth

Trafford Heritage Society spent Saturday, 10th October in Sale Moor interviewing shoppers about their views on plans to regenerate Sale Moor and Warrener Street car park.

Hear the views of Sale Moor!

"...If the supermarket goes ahead where it is, it will be the death knell for the village... More and more supermarkets take over the whole country and the high street will close. It's a shame supermarkets don't put money back into high streets..."


Sunday 11 October 2009

THS responds to Trafford MBC Greenspace Strategy

Trafford Heritage Society is now scrutinising the Greenspace Strategy proposed by Trafford (click her to read it) Metropolitan Borough Council. THS is particularly concerned for the future of the many small parks in the Borough, and that they may fall victim to a council besotted with selling off our heritage and erecting unwanted and unsuitable buildings in these spaces.. A Trafford Heritage Society group has been formed to fight a campaign on this important issue. Your help will be invaluable in the near future.

You can read the THS position here.

Saturday 3 October 2009

More and more emails...

Thank you to all who have got in touch. We will try to reply to everyone as soon as we can but due to the volume, it will take some time.

"We are horrified at the thought of yet another supermarket moving into our area.Our local shops and PO at North Parade have been taken over already by Tesco (albeit under the name Onestop).As regular shoppers at greengrocers,butchers and chemist at Sale Moor we completely fail to see any need for a supermarket of any sort to move into Sale Moor.The carpark is frequently almost full so it is definitely needed.All it needs is some resurfacing work as the pot holes are getting far too large to avoid now!" - JRB and MRB

"I feel we can not afford to loose our community spirit in Sale Moor, as has happened in Altrincham. We do not need another large corporation supermarket as we have enough in Sale..." - HN and MW

"I have just read about the free car park at the above address and wish to register my protest at the possible loss of free parking.
In my opinion it will be one more step in the demise of a wonderful shopping area. One can only assume the powers that be have gone mad. Can they not see the affect this will have on the shops who provide a good alternative to the likes of Tesco?
Is there some underlying reason for the possible changes or is it me being suspicious?
Finally I have a final message for those responsible.- DON'T DO IT!!!!!"
- D.H.

Wishes to make Sale Moor like Ashton-on-Mersey?

One could reasonably ask, we think, ‘is the Labour Party trying to get votes from lemmings ?’

This week’s Sale and Altrincham Messenger carries a story about our organisation and our campaign to Save Warrener Street Car Park in Sale Moor. The article, which appeared on page 7, also included a statement by former Trafford councillor, Phil Gratrix. Mr Gratrix is quoted as saying
“A lot of people I know want ….a supermarket in Sale Moor…...Ashton-on-Mersey has thrived ever since it got a Tesco and Sale Moor could do too.”
But on the Front Page of the same newspaper, there is an article about impending doom in the retail trade of Ashton-on-Mersey. Janet Curran, from the Village Barbers is quoted as saying;
“The mood among traders is terrible. We’ve already seen a massive difference in just a few days – there’s nobody in the village !…Trade is bad enough at the moment as it is, and the business rates are so high. We feel we’re getting no support from the council.”
The reason for this collapse ? Trafford Council has failed to sustain parking in Ashton-on-Mersey. There is no public car park in the village, and the private car park provision, on which the shoppers had relied, has now been withdrawn by the owner.

And Phil Gratrix wishes to make Sale Moor like Ashton-on-Mersey !

Trafford Heritage Society met with Cllr Christine Bailey

Trafford Heritage Society met with Cllr Christine Bailey, and other Conservatives this morning to discuss the future of Warrener Street Car Park and the prospects for saving the traditional shops of Sale Moor. Other interested groups were represented at the meeting, including the Traders, and the Sale Moor Residents. The Traders and the Residents are supporting Trafford Heritage Society’s Campaign to preserve Warrener Street Car Park as it is and to oppose the building of a supermarket in Sale Moor.

Is this recent move by Cllr Bailey, and the Conservative Party, as a cynical attempt to deceive the people of Sale Moor? The Conservatives control Trafford Council, and Trafford Council are in consultation with an independent company to develop the car park. The Council cannot do anything without the support of Conservative councillors such as Christine Bailey. This cynicism would be an insult to the intelligence of the people of Sale Moor.

Trafford Heritage Society is not aligned with any political party, but we strongly urge an immediate assurance that there will be:

No sale of the Warrener Street Car Park !
No charging for the use of the car park !
No new supermarket in Sale Moor ward !

Tuesday 29 September 2009

It’s Petition Time Again !

After our success with the Save the Sale Hotel Campaign and the key contribution of the paper petition, the Trafford Heritage Society has launched a petition to Save Warrener Street Car Park. Sheets which supporters can sign, have been distributed to many shops and businesses in Sale Moor. And we will be distributing more to other premises in the next few days. Some shopkeepers are already reporting large numbers of signatories.

The text of the petition asks that you state your opposition to any proposal to ‘regenerate Sale Moor,’ and you require that the Council both resurfaces the car park and maintains the principle of free use.

There is now, little doubt in our minds that the people of Sale Moor do not want to lose their free car park, nor do they want the imposition of a large supermarket. What they do want is the vibrant mix of small and specialist traders, and a problem-free space to park. Please remember that the car park belongs to the people. Trafford Council is simply a representative body which acts as its custodian. The people will tell the Council what they are permitted to do with our car park. Also, please remember that the Labour councillor for Sale Moor has expressed the view that the car park should be developed, and the Conservative controlled Council is asking for expressions of interest from developers. So the only ‘friends’ of the car park are the members of Trafford Heritage Society.

The present stage in the campaign to save Warrener Street, will be a ‘rolling petition.’ This means that we will not put a closing date on it, but we will keep reporting to the people and the council, giving the number of signatories. This will continue until the council agrees to postpone indefinitely any proposal to ‘develop’ this important amenity.

In addition to signing the petition you can express your dissatisfaction with the performance of Trafford Council in this regard by telephone, by e-mail or by writing a letter to:

Cllr Mike Cornes (Conservative),
Executive Member for Economic Growth,
8 Exeter Road
M41 0RE

0161 748 2195

Monday 28 September 2009

More and more emails...

We are getting more and more emails with thoughts and comments about Warrener Street car park. Thank you to all who have got in touch. We will try to reply to everyone as soon as we can but due to the volume, it will take some time.
Keep the emails coming though; it is important to have your views.

"I believe that there are plans to scrap the larger car park in sale moor. I feel that if this would happen it would kill the village as there is not enough parking as it is. Also if there are plans to build a supermarket then this will clearly destroy some of the small business in the village that have been there for a large number of years." - S.O.

"I would just like to say there is no reason that makes sense to change anything about this site !!! this Car Park has been there for at least 20 years !!!! I am an employee of a Local Recruitment... Northenden Road, Sale Moor, and this Car Park is much used of fellow members of Staff based here at this office also this would have a big effect on the Local Shops and the Community of Sale Moor" - H.S.

"Our village is very special and vibrant, and it is mainly because people who use the village can park their cars easily and freely. Like others who have commented earlier, Trafford Council successfully killed off Altrincham with its car parking policies, please don't let it happen to Sale Moor. When you look around the area we have very few empty shops which surely is a sign of a succesful trading area. Sale Moor does not need to be regenerated it is very successful the way it is." - N. H.

Saturday 26 September 2009

Introducing our Facebook campaign

Many friends of the community will remember our recent campaign to Save the Sale Hotel.  A significant player in this campaign was the Facebook Group, managed by Victoria Frankland.  So we have decided that an important element in our campaign to Save Warrener Street Car Park, in Sale Moor, will be a Facebook Group.  This will allow us to keep in touch with fellow campaigners and exchange information immediately.  It is vital that we utilise the most modern electronic means of communication, in defending our democratic rights.

We hope that supporters of the stated aims of Trafford Heritage Society will sign up to the Facebook group.

Although the Facebook Group has only recently been set up, there has already been a post complaining about mixed messages from the Conservative Party in Trafford.  WE republish the post here:

"What’s amiss with the Conservatives in Trafford ?
The Council (which is Conservative by a majority of about two-to-one) wants to ‘redevelop’ the Warrener Street Car Park in Sale Moor, despite overwhelming opposition from the traders and shoppers. But some Conservative activists; Cllr Pam Dixon, Cllr Christine Bailey, and James Callaghan are opposing the ‘redevelopment.’ Is this really the party which is posing to run the country after the next General Election, when they can’t organise themselves ?
And the Labour Party councillor for Sale Moor, Joanne Bennett has already stated her support for the ‘redevelopment’ of the car park. Throw them all out of office as soon as possible, is my advice. You can’t trust local politicians who belong to national political parties."

Thursday 24 September 2009

The Campaign gathers momentum!

Messages are coming in thick and fast in support of our campaign to Save Warrener Street Car Park, Sale Moor. There is overwhelming support now from people wishing to maintain the free car park, with no other development except some refurbishment. We have taken soundings with the traders of Sale Moor as well as the community of Trafford. We note that other organisations, including political parties are now engaged in opposing development. The Trafford Heritage Society, remains unaligned with any political party, because we are fighting several campaigns elsewhere to save elements of Trafford’s heritage.
We publish here a selection of extracts from messages recently received at our e-mail address and our telephone hotline.
"...I feel very strongly that to develop the car park in any way would be detrimental to Sale Moor Village. Sale Moor has a thriving high street and in my opinion one of the reasons is the car parking facility at Warrener Street Car Park. Sale Moor boasts two greengrocer shops and two butchers. This is in contrast to Sale Town Centre which now has three supermarkets and no greengrocer shops or butchers.
Personally I prefer to shop at a butchers and a greengrocer rather than use a supermarket. I also use the other shops in Sale Moor and if a supermarket was built on the Warrener Road site I doubt whether some of the individual shops would survive.
I have always felt fortunate to have Sale Town Centre and Sale Moor close by and I have supported both. Don't ruin the character of Sale Moor. Resurface the car park, keep it free of charge and let the village survive and thrive..." -

"...After the mess that the council have made in Altrincham, where there are now so few shoppers that even the charity shops can't continue trading: they now have the brass neck to turn their attention on one of the few remaining oasis of real local shops in the borough.
Why does a thriving little shopping centre need developing?
Apart from filling in the potholes in the car park, and not charging us for the privilege, nothing else need be done.
Is the council so craven that anything that will generate money must be counted as good?
Development is not always synonymous with "good for the community", especially where the introduction of large retailers into small local shopping communities are concerned.
Why do the council want to penalise shoppers in the borough by insisting on paying for parking when supporting local businesses, when it is free to visit giant supermarkets?
This does not make economic sense.
Will they only be happy when all we have is homogeneous islands of retail heavyweights banded together in lacklustre "retail parks" where they can "milk" the business rates?
Or will they see common sense and let those of us who want to support local highstreet business do so without penalty..."
- "Very annoyed of Brooklands"

Telephone call received by the Trafford Heritage Society hotline at 14:45 on 24.09.09.
The caller does not have a computer, and was reacting to a leaflet left on his car in Warrener Street, Sale Moor, by campaigners for the Trafford Heritage Society.
The caller wished to register his objection to the development of Warrener Street Car Park.
He is a pensioner, resident near Washway Road, Sale, and drives to Sale Moor because it is a free car park.
But he also wished to emphasise his liking for the shops in Sale Moor, and is a regular customer of one of the butchers in the village.
He is apalled by the news that Trafford MBC wishes to build a supermarket on the site. He expressed the view that a supermarket would close the small shops down.

If you would like to help our campaign please ‘have your say !’

Tuesday 22 September 2009

Warrener Street Car Park, Sale Moor - Campaign Latest

There has been an unprecedented response to our campaign to save the Warrener Street car park. Most people who have been asked, have said that the car park should be resurfaced, remain free to users and should not be developed in any other way. We found no appreciable support whatever for the building of a supermarket on Warrener Street car park.
We publish here several messages of support which we have, including the Wythenshawe and Sale East Conservatives Association.

"...In common with the majority of the residents, we would not be in favour of any development which spoils the character of Sale Moor Village.
Cllr. Christine Bailey and Cllr. Pam Dixon have advised their colleagues of the unpopularity of any scheme to remove the car park from Warrener Street, whatever the reason.
We are aware that many visitors choose to shop in Sale Moor because they prefer to use small, individual shops where they are offered personal service and they know where they can park..."
- Wythenshawe and Sale East Conservatives Association

"...I'd just like to say that Trafford Council should develop Warrener Street car park but only into a better surfaced and marked car park and that it should remain free. It helps to keep the community of Sale Moor alive. There is a thriving community there with useful shops - don't kill it off. The car park is well used - evidence surely of the activity that goes on in the shops and services there..." - P.C.

"...I am very concerned about the council's proposal to develop this car park.
As the car park is in the centre of the village it is well used by people who are going to the local shops and businesses. Without this facility there will be less people using the variety of shops and businesses and the centre of Sale Moor will suffer. This car park regularly has 50+ vehicles on it at any one time throughout the day..." -

"...I believe the car park is an essential local resource, and has helped Sale Moor to become a pretty vibrant shopping area, despite competition from the multiples in Sale down the road. Charging – no matter how little – discourages shoppers. It is an inconvenience. The amount of revenue is likely to be so small, I cannot see how it would be in anyone’s interests to go down this road. Certainly not the local traders who make Sale Moor a very agreeable place to shop..." - Gary McIndoe

The Trafford Heritage Society, having taken soundings in the community, believes that the exceptional and traditional style of retail provision in Sale Moor is well worth preserving. There are several excellent national chain supermarkets only a short walk or bus ride away in Sale Town Centre. If a chain supermarket of the size which has been proposed, were to open in Sale Moor, it is certain that the small specialist retailers would be forced out of business. And once gone would probably never be replaced. The members of the Trafford Heritage Society wish to support the people of Sale Moor by promoting policies which maintain a viable retail ecology of the existing provision. This means that there is room for the introduction of more shops of the type already represented in the village, but perhaps offering goods not currently available. What should be encouraged, we hear, is diversity. And the key to this range of shops is a free, central car park.

Saturday 19 September 2009

Warrener Street car park

We have been alerted to plans by Trafford Council to “regenerate” Sale Moor. The Council has begun by asking for plans for the Warrener Street car park (the car park behind the car wash and shops on Northenden Road). Surveyors acting on behalf of the Council have written to those with premises adjoining the car park. The letter includes the following:

“Trafford Council has now determined to invite interested parties to submit proposals for this land. The brief for prospective development partners will be to give consideration to a scheme which will help to regenerate Sale Moor. It will also suggest that prospective partners consider the inclusion of further parcels of land as necessary for a viable and sustainable scheme to be developed.”

We have a strong suspicion this is “code” for an invitation for a supermarket that will involve compulsory purchase orders on some other buildings and ruin the thriving shopping centre that currently exists.

We are keen to preserve the busy shopping centre in Sale Moor, including the wide variety of individual shops. We would be grateful for your support.

You can help us by giving us your thoughts and comments so that we can send them forward to Trafford Council.

Over 80% of people we have spoken to so far wish the land to be left as it is i.e. a free car park (albeit with resurfacing work carried out!)

Thank you in advance for your feedback.
Phone: 07858 40 60 75

Monday 14 September 2009

Watling Gate: MP briefed by the Campaign Team

Members of the Campaign Team met with Graham Brady, MP for Altrincham and Sale West, and Cllr John Tolhurst on Saturday 12.09.09. Their aim was to persuade Mr Brady to support the Team in its objective of saving Watling Gate. Mr Brady was sympathetic to the Team’s ambition in this regard, and recognised that Watling Gate is owned by Trafford Council, that it is a Listed Building and that no repairs or maintenance have been carried out on the building in recent years, such that it is now in a very poor state. The Team also pointed out that the building is not secure and mentioned communications which they have had with GM Police regarding criminal activity at the site.
The Campaign Team also explained that there is an important moral question at the centre of the cause for Watling Gate. An eminent public servant, Lt. Col Charles Newton gave his home, his art collection, and a substantial area of land, to the community, and it is a gross betrayal of trust, inconsistent with the conduct of a civilised people, that Colonel Newton’s bequest should be so abused. Trafford MBC has already made several disgraceful attempts to ignore the terms of Colonel Newton’s will in respect of his bequest.
Cllr Tolhurst said that there were several bodies holding an interest in the future of Watling Gate which conflicted in their ambitions for the building. This division appeared to the Team to be an excuse for indolence; if the Council does nothing the building will be destroyed by neglect. Mr Brady mused on the likely uses to which the building could be put. The Team recognised that this is a difficulty but that, as the Council owned it, and was responsible for maintaining it, they were expected to be proactive rather than inactive in finding solutions. The Team thanked Mr Brady for his attention to this important matter and patiently awaits good news about the old building.

Friday 4 September 2009

Watling Gate: Calling all campaigners!

The Annual Meeting of the Friends of Newton Park will take place at

Timperley Taverners,
43A Park Rd
WA14 5AD
0161 973 2579
Next Wednesday 9th September 2009 at 7.00pm

Heritage Open Day

Saturday 12th September 2009
10am to 5pm

The Parish Church of St. Paul, Springfield Road, Sale, Cheshire M33 7YA will be throwing open its doors on Saturday 12th September 2009, 10am to 5pm, as part of the National Heritage Open Day.

For further information, please telephone 0161-969-2795 or visit

Wednesday 2 September 2009

A scandalous betrayal of trust by Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council !

We now publish the Will of Lt Col Charles Newton who gave his house and land to the people of Altrincham.

I give to the Urban District Council of Altrincham in the County of Chester (hereinafter called the Council) all of my dwelling house and residence known as Watling Gate, Timperley together with the land forming the site.

I declare that the Council shall hold the said plots of land hereinbefore given to the Council upon trust for the perpetual use thereof by the public for the purposes of a park or pleasure grounds and for the purpose of exercise and recreation.

I further declare that the Council shall hold the said dwelling house upon trust to use the same or permit the same to be used for any civic purpose such as a branch library and a welfare centre and that part of my house may, if the Council so desires, be used as an official residence for one or more of the Council’s employees and the said dwelling house shall not be sold, let or occupied, by a private individual or private individuals."

The Last Will of Charles Newton of Watling Gate, Timperley on the 23rd July 1936.

Tuesday 1 September 2009

The art of demolition by neglect !

Lieutenant Colonel Newton, a resident of Timperley, gave his house, complete with works of art, and other collectables, and a substantial amount of land, to the people of his community.  His bequest placed a moral obligation on the local council to use the property for the purpose of arts or leisure. The house, called Watling Gate, is a Listed Building, and during the time it has been under the supposed protection of Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council, the art collection has been lost and the building has deteriorated to such a degree that it is no longer safe.

The Campaign Team has received a number of e-mails from Trafford councillors, not one of whom will accept any responsibility for the deplorable state of this fine house, not one of them is offering to find a solution to a problem of their own making.  Several have blamed the ‘other party’ for the parlous condition of Watling Gate.

This affair is a gross insult to the memory of a generous benefactor of our community, and the only culprits are the members of the Council, who temper inactivity with inter-party squabbling and incompetence.  It is not surprising that the Campaign Team have found on the doorsteps of the Borough, complete dissatisfaction with the performance of the Council, and absolute disenchantment with the main political parties.

One wonders whether the response in the community will be reflected in the next local elections.

The Campaign Team posted a film on the blogspot yesterday concerning Watling Gate which includes an interview with a lady who lives close by.

Monday 31 August 2009

Watling Gate

The Campaign to save the Sale Hotel has widened its activity to include other significant or cherished buildings in the Borough which are under threat. There are a number of buildings already Listed which are in a such a poor state of repair that their demolition seems likely. One such building is Watling Gate, actually owned by Trafford MBC. Despite its being a Listed building Trafford Council is prepared to see it crumble. The Campaign to Save the Sale Hotel has put its weight behind rescuing Watling Gate., as you can see from this film.

Save Our Heritage Campaign!

Whilst we have been working on the Save the Sale Hotel campaign, it has come to our attention that there are several other buildings in desperate need of our help. One of these is the building known as Watling Gate, which is in Timperley.

The house was built in 1904 as the residence of the Newton Family at a cost of £2,500 and was surrounded by approximately 25 acres of park land. Most of the land was sold for housing development in the 1920s, with only the house and a small plot of land retained in the family. Lt. Col. CE Newton bequeathed the house and land to the newly created Altrincham Borough Council in around 1937. The house is a listed building and was in use until 2006 but since then appears to have had little or no maintenance and this listed building would seem to have been left to fall apart. The council wishes to sell the building, contrary to the wishes of the Lt. Col Newton. Residents have raised concerns with the council but to no avail to date. We need your help to urge the council to retain Watling Gate for the local people and to maintain the building adequately.

Please contact the following local councillors:

Jane Brophy 07711 454 566

Matthew Colledge 0161 980 1792

Neil Taylor 07734 598073 or
0161 980 6522

Many thanks once again for your support in protecting our local heritage!

Friday 28 August 2009


At four o’clock today, Friday, 28.08.09, the Campaign Team met with councillors of Trafford Council, representatives of Sale Civic Society, The Friends of Walkden Gardens, local residents and Paul Goggins MP.

The discussions ranged over the prospects for a viable future for the old building, post-listing, the record of the local authority in protecting existing listed buildings in the borough, and the Save the Sale Hotel ‘story so far.’

The Campaign Team was able to find out some of the points of the discussion which were raised at the earlier meeting with the developers and from which the Campaign Team had been excluded.

One of the prospects raised at this meeting resonated with earlier suggestions by leaders of the campaign, that the Sale Hotel should become an educational facility, possibly an annexe of Sale Grammar School. This seems to have several advantages over its use as a commercial business. Firstly, it would therefore be in the public sector and immune to some degree from having to turn a profit. Secondly, its use for the purpose of education would tend to preclude very late hours and consequently would tend to be more acceptable to near neighbours. Thirdly, the ceiling heights of the building would lend its use to the performing arts. Fourthly, it would provide a more economical and more carbon friendly alternative to bussing students from the Sale Grammar site to Claremont Road, as is presently the case.

The Campaign Team drew to everyone’s attention to the fact that the Sale Hotel has not been maintained recently and that there were some slates missing from the roof. Fears were expressed that the building would rapidly deteriorate if rain water was able to penetrate the fabric of the building. There was some discussion about whether the owner could be legally compelled to make repairs, but the view was expressed that effectively it was not possible. The Campaign Team made mention that Trafford MBC actually owned a number of listed buildings which were in an extremely poor state of repair. One of the members the Campaign Team pointed out to the councillors present at the meeting that Trafford MBC would look very silly if they attempted to criticise the owner of the Sale Hotel for failing to make small repairs, if the Council were unwilling to address their own responsibilities in this regard.

The mobile telephone installation, which made use of the tower of the Sale Hotel has been decommissioned. There was a suggestion that planning permission had been sought of Trafford Council to lay new mobile telephone facilities to the car park of the Sale Hotel, possibly implying that the site would still operate mobile telephone communications.

The Campaign Team raised the question why Trafford MBC had not appointed a Heritage Champion, consistent with the practice of many other local councils.

The Campaign Team raised important questions of principle about the near demolition of the Sale Hotel. Why had the Heritage Protection Bill been withdrawn from the forthcoming parliamentary session ? Paul Goggins offered to pursue this with the Secretary of State for CMS. Why had Trafford MBC failed to inform many of those interested parties in the borough that a notice to demolish the building had been received. None of the groups and societies, for example, Sale Civic Society had been informed. Few residents had been informed. The councillors representing Trafford MBC at this meeting were unable to say why there had been a lack of consultation.

Thursday 27 August 2009

The Grade 2 Listing

The Campaign Team received an e-mail from English Heritage, this afternoon, 27.08.09, stating the revised recommendation that the Sale Hotel be designated a Grade 2 Listed Building. The recommendation acknowledges the strength of local support for the old building. The Campaign Team wishes to thank Paul Goggins MP for his support in getting us this far and Victoria Frankland for her support with Facebook. But although we can claim victory in this round, there is still a long way to go in securing the future of the Sale Hotel. The overwhelming support we have received from local businesses and residents of Sale and Sale Moor will be crucial in establishing a viably economic future for the building. But let's take a short breather and enjoy this moment!

Tuesday 25 August 2009

Listen to our campaign story so far!

We outline action taken to date including the blog, facebook and the petition.

Whilst there is currently a building protection notice in force, the building has yet to be formally listed and so there is only temporary protection at present. To preserve the building it will need to become a listed building and this decision lies in the hands of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. You can help by urging the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to list THE WHOLE OF the building without any further delay.

Phone: 0207 211 6200

Friday 21 August 2009

‘Development; a misused word’, by Urban Critic of Sale

Recent posts raise some interesting questions about developers and development. Generally, the word ‘develop’ carries the meaning of ‘improvement.’ ‘To develop’ means something like ‘to improve’. And yet the activity of those who have ‘developed’ urban sites, particularly in Sale, in recent times, have been anything but improvements. The Campaigners who trudged around the area collecting signatures for the Paper Petition, found that a frequent complaint against Trafford Council was precisely this; that the Council had permitted the demolition of an old building, and the Planning Department had subsequently approved its replacement by worse. It’s almost as if Trafford Planning Department and the Committee of Councillors who are supposed to direct the officials, are incapable of recognising what is attractive. The ‘development’ opposite Sale Station was frequently cited by signatories of the petition as an ‘eyesore.’ The best thing one could say about it is that it’s a bit ‘Soviet’. To make matters worse, it does not appear to have been constructed with a view to maintaining an attractive exterior.
The wooden panels seem to be showing deterioration. Whereas some panels
 have retained some semblance of colour, others, which are presumably exposed to more severe weather have gone that funny grey colour which garden furniture acquires, if you don’t give it a lick of teak oil once in a while. Very disappointing. Is it any wonder that the people of Sale have opposed the demolition of the good old Sale Hotel and given a ‘thumbs down’ to the mediocre modern?

Thursday 20 August 2009

Still no new news on the Listing

Letter from the Listing Review Officer, Heritage Protection Branch to Markus of the Save the Sale Hotel Campaign Team:

Sale Hotel, 131 Marsland Road, Sale, Trafford, Greater Manchester
Thank you for your e-mail of 17 August 2009, in which you ask for an update on the listed status of the Sale Hotel. Following the initial decision that the Hotel should not be listed the Secretary of State is currently carrying out a review of that decision. This resulted from the submission of significant new evidence as to the architectural and historic merit of the building. In undertaking that review the Secretary of State is further consulting English Heritage and taking into account evidence provided by other interested parties.
You may know that Trafford Council have used their powers under section 3 of the 1990 Act to serve a Building Preservation Notice (BPN) on the owners of the Hotel. The BPN was dated 06 August 2009 and has the effect of treating the building as though it were listed for a period of 6 months. This will allow additional time in which to carefully consider any significant new evidence submitted for the review of the original decision.
The outcome of the review will be either that the Secretary of State has decided to reaffirm the original decision, or that the Secretary of State has decided that the earlier decision should be overturned. I will contact you again when that decision has been made. It is not possible, at present, for me to predict when the decision may be made.
I was not involved in the making of the original decision.
Yours sincerely
Listing Review Officer, Heritage Protection Branch"

Wednesday 19 August 2009

Paul Goggins response to our update from yesterday

"Just to clear up any misunderstanding it might be helpful if I explain the purpose of yesterday’s meeting between the developers, local politicians and planning officials. Given all the recent events and the likely listing of the Sale Hotel the developer was keen to have an early meeting with me and local councillors. We thought it would be helpful if senior planning officers were also present.

The purpose was not to negotiate any secret deals but to gain a better understanding of the new challenges and opportunities that will present themselves once the Listing has taken place. We found the developers to be constructive in their approach - but they now have the task of giving the Sale Hotel a new purpose.

Given the fact that the original house has been added to and extended over the years they were keen to get a better understanding of what is non negotiable in terms of demolition and what may be possible. Clearly the old house and the tower must stay as well as any other parts of the building covered by the Listing.

There is no intention of excluding members of the public from discussions about the future of the Sale Hotel. The developer did not want to engage in public dialogue at this stage as there are no specific proposals under consideration and the formal Listing has not yet been made. In hindsight – and given the constructive nature of yesterday’s discussions – if the developers had been in agreement there would not in my view have been any difficulty in extending an invitation to members of the campaign group and it was good that George Cogswell joined us at the end.

Any decisions taken will need to reflect the formal Listing decision which is not yet made. And any planning application will be subject to full public consultation.

We have established a good team spirit in responding to the urgent need to protect the Sale Hotel and we have succeeded in stopping the bulldozers. But we all now have a responsibility to make sure that the building and the site can be put to good use rather than be left derelict and subject to vandalism. Living accommodation is one possibility but there may be other potential uses and it is important that all options are considered. One thing which is absolutely ruled out by the terms of the sale agreement entered in to by the developers is the use of the property as a pub or nightclub.

Given that two weeks ago none of us even knew the developers, yesterday’s discussion was a first step in trying to find a way forward that suits everyone. They made it clear that as proposals emerge they will be happy to meet and consult. In any future meetings we will make sure that representatives of the group are present and able to participate fully in the discussion.

Pending the formal decision to List we have achieved the first part of our campaign to save the Sale Hotel – congratulations again to all those who have given time to the campaign and to those who signed the petition. The second part is to find a future use for the building which is affordable and suitable. That is a task that everyone will have a say in.


Tuesday 18 August 2009

We weren't invited to the meeting!!!

The Campaign Team is alarmed that a meeting took place late this afternoon, 18.08.09, at the site of the Sale Hotel, which included the developers, employees of Trafford MBC, local councillors, and the Member of Parliament for Wythenshawe and Sale East, Paul Goggins, BUT NO MEMBERS OF THE CAMPAIGN TO SAVE THE SALE HOTEL.

By chance, George Cogswell, of the Campaign Team, was passing by and was able to report a few observations, including the identity of those present.

There was discussion about the demolition of part of the Sale Hotel, by the developers.

No member of this meeting has been willing to disclose the content of the meeting, and no-one has given an explanation why the Campaign Team was not invited.

The Campaign Team is already disappointed with the performance of the Council on a number of points.

The Campaign Team was supported by 1500 signatories of the paper petition, 1700 members of the Facebook, Save the Sale Hotel group, and nearly 800 signatories of the 10 Downing Street petition.

The Campaign Team wishes it to be known that the inefficiency and lack of public consultation very nearly caused the demolition of the Sale Hotel and it is not apparent that there has been any change in Trafford Council's policy as a result. The Campaign Team invites all those supporters of ‘Save the Sale Hotel’ to register immediately dissatisfaction with the continuing mismanagement of this important matter.

Friday 14 August 2009

Tell Us Your Story!

Many people have fond memories of the Sale Hotel. Here's your chance to share your stories and pictures - just mail us your memories to

We look forward to hearing from you.


We've distributed updates to the following shops, firstly to thank everyone who signed the paper petition – such amazing support within a week, secondly to urge people to contact the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and finally to ask people to sign the online petition, which currently has over 620 signatures - thank you to everyone who has signed the petitions.
If you haven't already signed the electronic one, there's still a couple of days left to do so.

The following shops are displaying the update and contact details:

Sale Moor
Cafe Moorish, Sale Moor
Heskeths Butchers, Sale Moor
Hugalls Chemist, Sale Moor
Pick N Pay, Sale Moor
Taylors Butchers, Sale Moor
Trios Cafe, Sale Moor
Wayne’s Fruit and Veg, Sale Moor

Marsland Road
Cartridge World, Marsland Road
Rooneys newsagents and deli, Marsland Road

North Parade shops
Mai’s pharmacy, North Parade

Sale centre
The Fish Plaice, Fishmonger, Claremont Road
Jacks DIY, Hope Road, Sale

Monday 10 August 2009

Contact the Department of Culture, Media and Sport!

We have tried to find out from English Heritage what the timescale is for formally listing the building. We have been told that the matter is currently with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and that they are unaware of any set timescales. So please now contact the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to urge them to list the building as soon as possible and to ask when they intend on doing this:
Phone: 0207 211 6200