Residents' views on Snow Hill plan sought
This aerial view of the Snow Hill area is taken
from the website of the former Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council, announcing a
consultation about the future of the area.
TWO years on from the announcement that the Snow
Hill / Swine Market area was to get a facelift, Crewe and Nantwich
Borough Council sought the views of Nantwich residents on the plan.
They consulted the traders
of the town and put the plans on show to the public at three exhibitions
(well, a three-panel display board) - at Nantwich Civic Hall, Brookfield Hall, the home of Nantwich Town Council; and Nantwich Swimming Pool - or the Brine Baths
The deadline has now passed but apart
from the opportunity to comment at one of the three venues, the public were able
to download a PDF from the borough council's website or complete an
I expressed my views on
line. This way mainly consisted of clicking on to radio buttons (those little circles
with a black dot inside them) although there was one section where you could
express your opinion more fully.
THIS picture is of Oat Market, with Swine Market
in the background, in the 1960s. Obviously, this is before High Street was pedestrianised. It is taken from a postcard published by Promise which I
happened to have in the family "archives".
That was where I told the council that
I didn't agree with a widely-held view that Swine Market was an
eyesore and should never have replaced the old buildings in the area. I am of
the opinion that Nantwich should have buildings representative of as many
decades as possible - good or bad! As such, the shops should stay.
I can't remember the condition of
buildings such as Carrington's newsagents, the Zan household goods shop, etc.
They looked fine, but outsiders rarely know the state of buildings. Were they
safe and fit for use?
Was there no alternative to their
demolition? See the foot of the page for two pictures of the older
buildings. The saving of the Brine Baths (a.k.a. Nantwich Pool) is of paramount
importance. And while an hotel would be acceptable, the area must
not become yet another housing development site.
I see in the Nantwich Chronicle
(October 22) that traders are saying they don't want the shop premises in the
block demolished - even though there are other places in town they could move
to. They have also said they would prefer Swine Market to be pedestrianised.
BEVERLEY Cope - formerly the young lady
at the helm of the Nantwich Now Market Town Project, and now Crewe and Nantwich Borough
Council's Senior Communications Officer - said there was no reason why the
facelift could not be part of the Riverside improvement scheme with a hotel, for
instance, overlooking the river. The public were not being presented with two or
three alternative schemes, all faits accomplis. They were being asked for
their own views which, Beverley
promised, would be taken into account. As I understand it,
this is not a
publicity stunt exercise which falsely gives the impression that views might be
considered when, in fact, all is cut and dried.
Beverley told me that comments so far had
been positive. She stressed in The Chronicle that nothing was set in stone yet,
adding "it could be all or nothing".
One suggestion I heard had me
puzzled. It was for Beam Street to be extended - through the current shops obviously - running to the River Weaver bridge in a straighter line
than turning into Oat Market.
Apart from meeting the junction of the Water Lode at an odd angle, it would do
little to alleviate the delays at this point which is caused by having a
four-way traffic lights set-up - one road at a time.
So what would be then
Car park site 'considered to present
a major development opportunity'
UPDATE - October 2015
The Snow Hill car park is
featured on the website of Engine of the North.
introduction says: "
"Your views will be considered"
A DOCUMENT on the borough council's website stated:
"The Snow Hill study
area, including the former gas works on St. Anne’s Lane, covers around six
hectares of land. It includes:
And it promised "All
views will be recorded and considered. Once all the views have been collected,
further public consultation will take place on the preferred option in
November/December 2008." The Council will then
confirm the way forward and hand over the agreed strategy for Cheshire East
Council to deliver."
The original letter from
£230,000 promised for
Snow Hill car park - with
the swimming baths in the background
WELCOME news has been announced (Nantwich
9) that the start of a big facelift scheme for parts of the town is
imminent after Nantwich Now Market Town Project managed to get a promise
of £230,000 from Rural Enterprise.
It is the first of three
phases of a £600,000 scheme for the town. The first phase covers:
l Snow Hill:
together with new lamp posts, bins and signs.
l The Square: new street furniture.
This includes "furniture" literally with the replacement of old seats.
There will be new litter bins, upgraded notice boards and an
improvement to the electricity supply route for the Christmas tree lights.
l Mill Island:
as The Square.
THE second and third phases - due
to start in November after businesses have been consulted on the work -
of the Riverside scheme. This will
include a "major enhancement" of Mill Island "to make it more easily
accessible", says The Chronicle (presumably quoting a press release from
Beverley Cope, the Nantwich Now Market Town
tourist attraction? I don't see it myself
l A small bridge from the island to the old Gas Works
site across the River Weaver, £113,000. This will make it easier to get
to Welsh Row from this
part of the town centre.
This bridge was included in an idea for the
island (covered here) which was proposed just
over a year ago.
l Further improvements in Snow Hill, including
open-air swimming pool.
l Improvements in Swine Market. A feasibility
study for Snow Hill and Swine Market will look at possible community use
and "economic benefits as tourist attractions". Not sure what will attract
tourists to those particular areas. We will see.
I asked Beverley Cope
whether this latest news meant that the suggestion of a new Tourist
Centre for Mill Island was a step nearer. This is particularly relevant
as Nantwich Civic Hall undergoes a two-month project which will
culminate in the moving of the Tourist Information Centre from the
Parish Hall in Church Walk to the hall.
She told me: "We actually
have no preconceptions about what the feasibility outcomes will be. It
will explore all possible avenues. Many people have expressed an interest
in locating a combination of community and tourism features on this site
but until the consultation is carried out we won't know whether any of
these ideas are possible or, indeed, wanted. It will be interesting to see
what emerges over the next year."
UPDATE March 2008
Master plan announced for area revamp
"A MAJOR revamp" of the Snow Hill and Swine Market
areas of the town was announced in the "Nantwich Chronicle"
which, it is said, will include:
A sliding roof at Nantwich Swimming Pool
A Health and Fitness Suite and
More car parking - possibly in a
park. Well, Nantwich certainly needs more
car parking - even when the addition of the Weaver Stadium parking on non-match
days occurs - but a multi-storey park?
Residents and businesses are to
be asked about the plans later.
The facelift will also cover the former
Nantwich Gasworks site, which the same edition of the weekly newspaper says has
just been linked to Mill Island by a footbridge.
footbridge link will enable motorists parking on the St Anne's Lane car park
- adjacent to a
proposed housing development - to walk straight on
to Mill Island without going "all round the houses" back into Welsh Row and
along the Waterlode for town centre events.
It will also provide a more direct
route to the town centre via Mill Street (across the Waterlode from Mill
The footbridge is the result of work by
Nantwich Now Market Town Initiative with money from Rural Enterprise, Cheshire
County Council and Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council and others.
The gasworks site 2016
A KEY investor for the Snow Hill area could be
attracted by the 550 homes proposed by Reaseheath College, the education
establishment's chief are suggesting.
In a report in the Nantwich Chronicle
(September 8) about a visit to Nantwich Town Council by the College Principal, Meredydd David and director Mark Embrey, Mr David is quoted as saying:
"An increase in the
'could save Snow Hill scheme'
population of Nantwich would encourage an investor in Snow Hill.
The more people living here, the more companies would be willing to invest.
Mr Embrey is quoted as saying:
"Nantwich is a beautiful town and we want to make sure the development is of a
high quality because it will act as a gateway.
"We do not want it to detract from
the beauty of Nantwich."
That's as good an argument in favour of
the college's new homes plan as any, I suppose.
that used to be in the area
Left: Carrington's, on the corner of Swine
Market and High Street, was demolished for the current buildings. Should
it, and others have been saved? Pictures from "Lost
Right: Carrington's shop (on
the left) was then the Chronicle office. The twin-gabled building became
the Zan shop at the end of Swine Market and Oat Market.