THIS open space in the centre of town
could have been lost if permission
had been given to build a new shop or office,
wrapped round the 19th century chimney of a smithy which provided
parts for a coach manufactory next to it.
At it happened, the
applicant withdrew the application.
It remains an
open area in The Cocoa Yard - a pleasant
way that links Hospital Street and Pillory Street. It wouldn't have
been the same as The Cocoa House Passage!
For copyright reasons, I
couldn't show you a picture of the proposed shop/office which the site
owners would like to build there. But - I have to admit - it would
have been impressive, although it would have spoiled the area,
leaving just the walk through. The Cocoa Walk??
One of the things objectors
didn't like was that part of the new building will be built around the
brick chimney which is currently an object (centre) of interest to
townspeople and visitors alike. One of the objectors was Nantwich
Civic Society, whose Chairman,
Jeff Stubbs, said: ". . . we consider that to build another
structure on this particular site is the wrong thing to do. If (the
chimney) is incorporated into the new building much of it will be
lost to public scrutiny."
The Millennium Clock which
stands in front of the chimney would not be affected.
Nantwich Town Council
was among those who objected to the planning application.
excellent graphics accompanying the planning application showed a
single-storey structure next to the proposed shop or office - the
entrance area to the new building - wrapped around behind the
chimney, leaving the front face still visible.
The chimney would not
have been left thrusting out of the roof of the building as I first thought
might be the case.
But a view into the chimney
- at the rear of the structure - would have been inside the
It would seem that this could have been part of, and might
therefore be hidden behind, a display area. And if
the new building had been taken over as an office, would it have
been the type to which the public had access anyway?
However, perhaps more
important than the loss of the visual aspect of the chimney
the proposed building - while fitting in an historic town like
Nantwich - would, in my opinion, have been out of keeping with other,
modern, buildings in The Cocoa Yard. As you will see from my picture
(above), these are two- or three-storey brick-built buildings.
The two-storey part of the
proposed shop/office would have been half-timbered with a gable end
facing The Cocoa Yard. If this were a genuine old structure, still
surviving the passing years, there might be some justification for
it being there.
But to build it anew would
have been out of keeping with the area. From the
artist's/architect's drawings, it looked like a great building, but
it would have been in the wrong place.
The chimney as seen at the rear of
The olde-worlde look of the yard that
would have been lost