Bellway takes over
The house builder Bellway acquired the Waterhouse site and submitted
a further planning application, 13/2406M,
to CEC designed to reflect Bellway's designs for houses and their preferred
layout to the site. This was approved.
The site was cleared and construction of the drains, roads and new
houses began in March 2014.
The new Co-Op shop was also constructed adjacent to the Middlewood
Way viaduct and opened in October 2014. This new shop proved to
be a huge success with much increased turnover compared to the
old shop at Albert Road.
mill site redevelopment
Kay Metzeler closed their factory at Waterhouse mill
at the end of 2011. The site was owned not by Kays or their group, British
Vita, but by a property company, Rock Asset Management (RAM), who leased
the site to Kays. This lease had more than 16 years to run so the owners
claimed to be in no hurry to redevelop. Kays, of course, having
finished with the site, were keen for redevelopment in order to release
them from their lease! RAM were sympathetic to this preference.
It was 50 years since this nine acre site was last developed - in 1962
the previous historic Waterhouse cotton mill was demolished and the then
modern industrial premises were built. So this has been a once off opportunity
for Bollington to express its interest in the future of this site - we
have not left it to others to impose future development upon us. That
said, we can only influence the development plan - the site owners are
entitled to propose whatever they think they can get planning permission
for. But they told us that they would prefer to reach a consensus
with the town in order to avoid an acrimonious planning dispute.
This site was developed in the 1780s when Waterhouse cotton
mill was first built - see
the history of Waterhouse mill. This finally closed in 1960 and
the mill was demolished in 1962. The site was immediately redeveloped
with a modern industrial premises for Kay Metzeler. Now, 50 years later,
Kays have closed this factory. The buildings were purpose built
for Kays. They were well worn and no longer came up to modern industrial
requirements and would be demolished. Kays were also responsible for
removing any contamination from the site. There
proved to be very little anyway.
Page of pictures of the demolition.
What's happened so far?
In autumn 2010 the owners of the site, Rock Asset Management,
approached Bollington Town Council to tell them that
this site was likely to be redeveloped and to acknowledge that the town
would probably have a view as to what should be built there. A meeting
was arranged between the two and the Town Council confirmed that the
town would indeed wish to influence the nature of the development.
Bollington Civic Society consultation
Because of the rules relating to town councils and planning decisions,
the Town Council cannot be involved in discussions about a possible development
and then pass comment on a subsequent planning application. For this
reason, late in 2010, Bollington Town Council commissioned Bollington
Civic Society to undertake further discussions with Rock Asset
Management and to conduct a consultation with the people of Bollington.
The Civic Society met senior management from Rock, together with their
architect, on two occasions, in December and January. At each of these
meetings there was exploration of the planning, financial and physical
constraints surrounding the project, the objectives of both parties,
and the possible aspirations of the Bollington community.
We were agreed that we would like to see the site redeveloped rather
than left derelict. Rock need any redevelopment to be financially viable
which means it has to earn more than the present rent. Both parties wished
to reach a consensus before a planning application was submitted to Cheshire
East Council - we both wanted to avoid a protracted planning dispute,
inquiry, etc. We discussed a variety of possible redevelopments
but did not agree on any particular development. The Town Council and
the Civic Society wanted the people of Bollington to have a say, to express
their aspirations, to provide guidance, before we had further discussions.
BCS questionnaire and the result
A questionnaire was delivered to every house in Bollington
during the first two weeks of February 2011 to enable the public to express
their views. There was an enormous response - 755 Questionnaires were
returned and the results are published below.
Bollington Civic Society and Bollington Town Council sincerely thanked
the residents of Bollington for so enthusiastically taking part in this
consultation and making the results so meaningful and valuable.
The results of the survey and a subsequent consultation day were presented
to Bollington Town Council. There have been further discussions with
Rock at which agreement was reached with them as to what kind of development
would answer the consensus views of the community. There were also several
discussions with the CEC Planners at Macclesfield to ensure that they
would go along with the kind of development envisaged.
Please note that it was impossible to satisfy every person's desires
- there were strongly opposed views with respect, for instance, to the
need for a supermarket, with slightly more opposed than for. We were
trying to make this as democratic as possible and the Civic Society were
certainly not making decisions on this matter on behalf of the community.
We were obtaining the views of the community and passing them to the
The owner's architect drew up proposals which were put to the community
before they submit a planning application. There was a Public Consultation
on 8th October 2011 at Bollington Civic Hall. Every home in Bollington
received a leaflet advising them of this. There was a very big turnout;
at least 1,000 people visited this consultation and more than 250 gave
their views to the site owners and their principle architect, Joe Mattin.
There was a striking coincidence of views with the BCS consultation
and of the three options for the layout of the site Option A was preferred
by 49% of those responding.
Presentation to Bollington
Town Council Strategic Planning Committee
On the evening of 25th October 2011 Joe Mattin, the owner's architect,
presented the results of the consultation to the BTC Strategic Planning
Committee and c.30 members of the public in an open meeting.
The public attending the 8th October event expressed approval for the
general direction of the proposed redevelopment preferring Option A over
the other two options. The major concern was the availability of car
parking space for local facilities such as the Arts Centre and the churches.
The Coop have now agreed to move their shop to the site. There would
also be a pharmacy with the new medical centre. There would be a few
relatively small units available for those wanting office space.
The owners were in negotiation to buy the Adlington Road industrial
site. This would provide emergency access to the Waterhouse site and
a small new development of properties designed specifically for older
At the BTC presentation Joe Mattin said that Kays would be finished
with the site by the end of the year (2011). He was intending to submit
an outline planning application by 11th November in order that CEC Northern
Planning Committee could express a decision by mid January 2012. However,
we were not aware of any submission of plans by 20th February 2012.
Once the outline application is passed the owners will seek a developer
to undertake the construction of the site.
A full planning application could then be submitted on behalf of the
owners and the developer, fully informed by the outcome of the earlier
application. This was expected to be completed and passed by late spring
2012, but we must now be looking at autumn 2012.
Construction work could have begun by early summer 2012, but will now
be somewhat later, and would last for 3.5 years. This length of development
would give necessary time for the Health authorities to organise themselves
to provide the necessary funding for the development of the new medical
centre, which the community sees as the centrepiece of the development.
However, funding for a new medical centre could not be agreed and the
Waterhouse Medical Centre withdrew their interest and decided to undertake
a re-development of their own site. A pharmacy would also be included
in that development. The new medical centre opened in September 2013.
Refurbishment of the Waterhouse (for the pharmacy) had not even begun
by November 2015!
BCS Questionnaire Results!
The votes on all those questionnaires returned by Friday 25th February
2011 were analysed and the results are available ...
results, with graphs
The Civic Society received hundreds of comments and those received
by Monday 28th February 2011 were collected into a single document ...
The Civic Society prepared a document of Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions