Thelwall: Eyesore is "Blot on Landscape"

March 27, 2019 11:03 PM
By Cllr Ian Marks

Local councillors and residents are stepping up their campaign to have something done about the Thelwall 'eyesore' at 40 Thelwall New Road on the corner of Alderley Road.

Thelwall Cllrs at Thelwall New Road (Warrington Liberal Democrats)

Many years ago the building used to be a shop but for a very long while it has been allowed to fall into a state of disrepair and it now looks worse than ever.

Councillor Ian Marks says, "This is at a high profile location and is visible to everyone who travels along the main road. It is an awful blot on the landscape. But it is the local residents who I feel most sorry for, who have had to put up with it for years and years.

After a long period of neglect, the property was sold in 2016. I first became involved eighteen months ago and I understand that at that time, there were discussions between the new owner's architect and the planners about an acceptable development. Last autumn, twelve months later, discussions were still going on about a scheme to demolish the existing building and replace it with a mixed-use development of commercial and residential units.

I have many emails from Warrington Council's planning enforcement, planning, housing and empty property section about what is going on but nothing seems to be happening. Months ago, I had a phone conversation with the owner to try and help make progress. I believe some amendments to the original scheme were requested before Christmas.

The Council is empowered to take legal action by serving a so-called S125 notice and officers have told me they have considered this more than once. Like many legal remedies, I suspect this takes time and it would be better to resolve the situation by talking if that were possible.

Time marches on and we want some action and no more delays. It's not just the visual eyesore, we are concerned about safety issues too."