A Letter from Nantwich

Written November 2005  | Update March 2007 (new page) | This page edited and updated March 2015

When it comes to housing, enough is enough!





Not much to look at, is it? This is the area of land which was once home to coal merchants' business premises. Now it is planned to build homes on it.

 But please . . . let this be the last!

SURELY Nantwich has enough housing! Yes, I appreciate the argument that as populations grow there is a need for more homes. And why should people be prevented from living in such a nice town as Nantwich?

   It does, I must admit, seem a little selfish to say that no-one else can come to live in Nantwich (although I not saying that), which we Dabbers all love so much. But is it?

   We can't be accused of pulling up the drawbridge. There are large new housing developments at Stapeley, at Kingsley Fields and in the Marsh Lane / Welsh Row area, catering for hundreds of new residents, that have been built in recent years.

    Presumably the new housing is all in response to Government policy about brown field land. But the time must come when we must say enough is enough.

   My argument for saying that is not from a sense of not welcoming people to the town, but from a point of view of the possibility of too many houses changing the very look of the town that brings in the visitors. Tourists come to see our black-and-white buildings and other examples of our history.

   Who will want to come if Nantwich starts to look like any other town in the country, with the continuing march of new housing swamping the very things that make us famous throughout the world?

   If outsiders wish to buy and move into an already-established home, that is fine. We will welcome them with open arms - as we always do.

   I had to laugh recently when someone took me to task for making the town seem such a great place to  


NOTE: Comments and details in this article were correct at the time they were written although some updating has been carried out.

And I've changed my mind about new houses !

live. "We don't want anyone else coming into our town," said the man - who has lived here for all of 10 years or so!  

   To cram yet more houses into the boundaries of this former salt town is just too much. Literally rubbing salt into the wounds you might say . . .

   The smallest of spaces seem to come on to the market nowadays, claiming to be space for a single dwelling. Of course, if the alternative is an untended eyesore, all well and good. Squeeze yourself in.

   But that doesn't mean that the town should pack in more and more homes on site after site.

   And "pack in" is the perfect term. A fine old house and its gardens on the outskirts of town has just been sold and will become the site of seven - I think it is - homes. All right, perhaps fine old homes are not everyone's cup of tea and with today's busier and busier lifestyles not everyone wants a large garden to look after. They don't have the time.

   I don't know about the house in question, but it is true to say that just because a house looks fine doesn't mean that there are not structural problems with it. And sad though it may be - especially to old fogies like myself - to see a piece of history disappear, it may be the better option, if there are problems, to knock a building down and start again. I stress that I


don't know anything about the state of the building I have in mind.

   The site pictured above is the former station yard

 attached to Nantwich Railway Station. It used to house four coal yards - whose well-known names included H.Chesworth and Son, and Gerald Fox.

   Now a restaurant is situated in the former station premises, and this area is earmarked for housing.   

   I don't wish to get involved in the political row that is going on about a campaign to stop three-storey apartments going on the site - to the claimed overshadowing of the adjacent Railway Hotel (to the left of the picture).

   I would just say that there are several homes already built in Nantwich that are three storeys high and I don't think they look out of place at all. If anything, they make the original Nantwich buildings next to them look even more quaint. (Some of them are pictured below).

   I think it is a case of three (storeys) not being a crowd when it comes to these sites for homes!      

   In fact, a couple of developments have four storeys. Building taller property - as long as a limit is put on it in terms of areas and storeys - seems to be a good way to accommodate homes without costing the town too much land.

   It strikes me that Nantwich has a more pressing need for car parks, but it is too late to allocate these last two sites for that purpose -  especially as housing has already been agreed. 


Three new housing sites | Developments to date


Rented apartments

 in Crewe Road

On the site of Priestley's chapel in Pratchitt's Row

Hastings Road off London Road


A converted factory in Pratchitt's Row

A former glass works just

off the Barony


There are other three-storey buildings in town - one in Millstone Lane and others on the new housing development at Welsh Row head (near to the Shropshire Union Canal).  And Sleeper's Point is mainly four storeys high.

Wilbraham Court in Welsh Row - in winter sunshine Apartments on the Barony, long since occupied Chatterton House has four storeys (with the penthouse) . . . as does Castle Court on the Waterlode
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