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.