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#1 31.Aug.18 09:34:17

ridge walker
Member

Hartford Mill

Good news that finally the decrepit mill thats  blighted freehold in Werneth for 25 years is to be demolished, astonishingly it is a grade 2 listed monstrosity, in its place will rise new housing, how such a crumbling and vandalised building could exist alongside Metrolink with its mountains of fly tipping astounds me, following the stories that the owners could not make it a viable option for them without being granted additional land  to make it worth their time...... plus the councils request that that they wanted residents views what they thought the authority should do about it.

The issue of asperational housing and Oldham becoming an asperational place to life  has always been viewed with suspition,  3-4 bedroom dwellings when we have a housing crisis with a waiting list of 10,000 families, its been mentioned before we dont want more social housing as that is already provided by the private letting companies that are all affordable !   and thats the official position,  the plan now is to go to the next level and build for millionairs to move to Foxdentons country side and the rolling pastures of High Crompton and Royton town centre, you cant believe it can you but as i forcast its coming our way, cllrs have been discussing this and planning for it for years under the cover of the spatial framework for Greater Manchester, we are members of a combined authority and we want what the south of the city enjoys (wealth) and our key advantage is were cheaper and can provide it for less.

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#2 31.Aug.18 10:05:12

Barleycorn
Member

Re: Hartford Mill

The loss of our cultural heritage carries on - although that particular mill is knackered and well beyond redemption, sadly.

The council gets some grief over this, and other sites that have fallen by the wayside - but when they are in private hands, it is tricky.   OMBC is also hamstrung by nationally determined budgets and polkicies - and has been for decades.

Worst recent example, imo, was the demolition of the Elk Mill.   

Prominent, historic, important to the town and our regional identity - and in fairly good order when the bulldozers moved in.   

That building - properly conserved and then redeveloped (maybe a mixed use retail/residential/workshop style conversion) could/should/would have been an impressive refurb project - a statuesque 'Gateway to Oldham' that would have been a fitting tribute to our heritage and a signal of future intent.   Instead, we have a dull, soul-less identikit retail park, indistinguishable from countless others and without a scrap of local flavour.


This is a good read, for those interested in industrial heritage.   https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cotton-Mills-G … 0948789891

And this blog often dips into such matters - https://archaeologyuos.wordpress.com/20 … t-century/



The Hartford site is, potentially, a chance to redevelop a down at heel area that is in a great location.  1 minute from the tram, 5 mins from the M60, 20 mins from the Pennines, Manchester, Stockport and within an hour of countless other places.

Inside the M25 it would be coveted land.  In Werneth - perhaps less so.   But lets hope it signals the start of a turn around.


I went through ALL your posts, found nothing,

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#3 31.Aug.18 10:18:07

Tabbycat
Member

Re: Hartford Mill

I agree totally about the Elk mill. It could have been a heritage centre. Wasn't it the last mill to be built in Oldham, or something like that? Look at what they did with the old Leyland trucks mill near Preston, turned it into Botany Bay. I've never been in but it certainly looks alright.

The Hartford Mill has been left to rot and IMO is past saving now, and it can only be a huge improvement for the poor residents who have lived next door to it for many years.


Once you've read a dictionary everything else is just a remix

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#4 31.Aug.18 15:33:03

Woody
Member

Re: Hartford Mill

Tabbycat wrote:

I agree totally about the Elk mill. It could have been a heritage centre. Wasn't it the last mill to be built in Oldham, or something like that? Look at what they did with the old Leyland trucks mill near Preston, turned it into Botany Bay. I've never been in but it certainly looks alright.

The Hartford Mill has been left to rot and IMO is past saving now, and it can only be a huge improvement for the poor residents who have lived next door to it for many years.



1926 The Elk was built it was on the Tower,

The Elk Park & Sandy and Park Mill were all of Accrington brick construction and all three could have been made into cheap small workspace/Office accommodation and provided employment in Royton,

There is a similar development in Stockport that supports lots of small businesses,

But the disrepaired eyesore Thornham Mill at the end of Oozewood Road survives because it has communication mast on until recently, 

The unsightly Monopole on Rochdale Road at Firbank Road while it does the job fancy living opposite that,

Surely it could have been placed further back amongst the tall trees to shield it form view it still would have done its job,


I would if I could but I can't,

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#5 31.Aug.18 17:23:19

ridge walker
Member

Re: Hartford Mill

Most mills have been converted for other uses, the Elk was the exception & possibly the Roy, it was hoped the Elk or the nearby Manor on Victoria Street could have been used as a heritage centre and i'm sure there was talk that machinary would be re-installed in the Manor as exhibits, the types of businesses were varid from engineering to a local Bazar like the Anchor on Featherstall Road North, the Hartford had been used for Mail Order like dozens more in the borough, Botany Bay is now countless small businesses selling antiques and olde worlde memorbillia,  The Marlborough in Failsworth became a supermarket/furnature store now Morrisons.

Airial photos of the Hartford clearly show its deploreable present condition with its callapsed roof, but nearby there is green sports fields and modern housing built very close to it, not rows of terraces, there must have been hope the mill would have gone decades ago, fancy having to live under its shadow all those years, but by choice that takes some understanding, regeneration of the entire area is long overdue so what deal has been struck with the owners, was it a CPO or a shared development between partners and a developer, certainly the mill was a target for a demolition company who was eager to remove it and its chimney, these things are not known, will it become a saga of more delays or like the Crescent railway warehouse on Park Road that was demolished within days when a crack in a wall was discovered, also a listed monument of industry, theres a storey here but we only get the headlines, i like the details and what it took to get where we are to bring it about, the truth of it not where we end up as anything would be better, could it be even greater and when its complete we will wonder why it took so long, i did my best thats all i can say.... wink

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#6 04.Sep.18 16:09:18

ridge walker
Member

Re: Hartford Mill

The original story came to my notice from the leaders on line blog on the 28th August, when i read the story in the Oldham Times it told a different story (Aug 30th) i quote a passage from this ;  The council has put forward a Listed Building Consent application seeking the total demolition of all structures INSIDE Hartford Mill and for the cleared site to be left fenced and secure.

It continues : If approved, this would allow the owner to demolish the listed building and work with the local authority to secure a new future for the site.   Now this alters the situation as the owners have  been unable to secure the building since it closed in 1991 and became vacant, we know from newspaper articles flytippers had entered and left as they pleased after replacing locks and chains with their own at the entrance gates, that they told the council unless they were given additional land adjacent to the site also left vacant there was no hope of any viable house building possibillity, so why do they state this would "breath new life into Werneth"

Is there an aggreement the demolish the mill and develop the site for housing or not, it sounds uncertain the owners will comply with demolishing the entire mill without the prospect of making money from it, and that depends on being gifted more land, if the council plans to be a partner in a larger development surely they stand to take that value for themselves, they would never redevelope with the mill still left standing, are they suggesting they 'assist' in demolishing the interior as a sweetener to the owners to demolish and clear the rest of the site as a gesture of goodwill, whatever they do its bound to increase their cost per dwelling, and i assume they own the vacant land that has already been demolished and cleared.

When this application is applied for a 13 week period will follow for public consultation before the proposal is heard by the Planning Committee, are they real, another example of forgone conclusions to meet legislation rules, it would mean the authority has already invested large sums to aid private owners to recoup their investment and guarantees them a profit from it after 25 years of sitting tight and waiting, knowing its shocking condition would hasten that day the worse it became,  who pays for the design costs ? is this also part of any deal, of course this is all confidential and will never be made known.  Breathing new life into Werneth gives a result and that achieves the goal, should we care- its an investment like the £millions going into MIA but in this case little comes back to fund services.  Have the mill owners ever paid a property tax to the authority like those with empty houses have to do which are not left to rot and decay and are kept secure  ?

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#7 09.Sep.18 17:39:52

ridge walker
Member

Re: Hartford Mill

The local fire brigades fire chief, crew manager Steve Murphy issued a stark warning to those entering the building he called a deathtrap after attending 3 seperate fires last week, he said youths had deliberately started blazes after setting fire to piles of wood,  floors are giving way as concrete and metal structures which support them deterioate rapidly as they hit hit the roof with water jets.

How secure is that and how can the leader suggest this would be the owners part of this agreement, when has it not been, we know the flytipping has never been prevented or removed in the past, the fuel for these fires, the council will not trespass on private property so where does enforcement step in, absent landlords cannot stop it, so is it a police matter..... cannot the emergency services order the owners to take action and if they dont a charge placed on the property for the councils agents to do the work to make it safe,  so the owners cannot sell it for housing unless its paid, i would think this would include its total demolition as a deathtrap in a residential area.

Not long ago Jim McMahon MP visited Freehold Station along with the metrolink builders and others following complaints, one of which was that stones from the track bed was being thrown at local houses, this gravel is chunky crushed stone up to 4 inches in size, and the solution was to cover this perminantly along the platforms length, nothings been done ... other than raising the height of the wooden fencing, it seems higher anyway maybe that was part of the solution or the only one feasable.

Decendind to Werneth, a digger excavator was working on the closed section of track that enters the tunnel to Mumps, it was digging out the gravel along the track where its fenced off in an area covered in rubbish as the line passes under the road bridge, how it got there i dont know but worth keeping an eye on, could be space for an extra business unit.

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