Belmont becomes listed within days of fire

by Lib Dem team on 28 July, 2021

Historic England have announced that Belmont, formerly Belmont Care Home, at 57 Schools Hill Cheadle, has been given Grade II listed designation.

The welcome news comes just days after a fire destroyed large parts of the roof. The council recently gave planning permission for Belmont to be split into flats, with houses built in the grounds. However, in recent months the Lib Dem team have repeatedly complained that security measures put in place by the developers were wholly insufficient.

“Despite fencing being erected on site, people have been able to simply walk in for several months. Outer gates were left unlocked and the fencing had a large gap in it. The fire was only the most recent incident with windows and a section of the wall being damaged,” said Cllr Iain Roberts. “We have asked the developer to properly secure the premises on several occasions but it hasn’t happened. We can’t help wondering if they might have wanted this historic gem to be damaged.”

“The decision by Historic England to give Belmont Grade II Listed status is fantastic news,” Iain said. “We now have to see how that impacts the planning application and the future for the building.”


16 Responses

  1. Phillip Gould-Bourn says:

    I have seen this scenario before in Cheadle. It is just so depressing.

  2. John H says:

    A cynical person might think there is a concerted effort to get rid of the old building leaving the way clear for a modern and more cost effective structure.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Dear Iain,
    Thanks for the information about Belmont. I wonder why it is a ‘historic gem’. I know it was owned by the Milne family of Kendal Milne, but………..
    I have just walked over there and the fencing has been pushed to the ground again. That happened soon after it was erected. I fail to see how listing the building will be any help at all. As others have mentioned it seems as if the owners are waiting for it to fall down so that they don’t have the expense of pulling it down and perhaps making it easier to get planning permission for new housing.

    • Ian says:

      I am involved in the High End Residential Development Market.Schools Hill and Cheadle should welcome the Developers proposal for this site who has employed one of Manchesters Premier Architects to come up wwith a scheme that will enhance this area rather than ruin it.

      • Alan says:

        Spoken like many a capitalist who are ruining this country with their self serving links to government via cronyism

      • Paula says:

        This has been going on for over a year now. If the planning department had acted expeditiously at the first signs of damage being caused, and granted consent, then the developers could have got on with the building works. Now the house has been listed, it will surely take even longer before building can commence as I believe that listed building consent will also be required.
        Ian if you have any influence at all, please give the planning dept a hefty nudge and tell them to get on with it before the house is completely destroyed.

        • Ian says:

          This is exactly the point I am making. There is a potential now for this to drag on.
          We made enquiries with the Buildings owner about a purchase but in the end it came to nothing.It is however potentially a great development.

    • John Hartley says:

      Meanwhile, Jennifer, the Kendals lived at Gatley Hill House in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This, from my booklet “Gatley – Now & Then”:-

      “Thomas Kendal and his family were living there in 1901. They had probably moved in after
      seeing it advertised for rent in April 1893. It was described as a “most desirable country
      residence”, with three entertaining rooms, billiard room, ten bedrooms, dressing room, with
      garden of about 1.5 acres including a small productive kitchen garden with a small paddock
      and “commodious” stabling. Kendal was a silk merchant, so financially successful that the
      family employed four live-in servants – a cook, kitchen maid and two housemaids. His third
      child and eldest son, Herbert, also worked in the family business. Whilst the census,
      describes both men’s occupations as dealing with silk, they were primarily the family which
      owned the Manchester department store, on Deansgate, known until 2005 as Kendal Milne
      or, simply, Kendals. The store traded under its various names from 1836. In 1884, Thomas
      Kendal had taken over a directorship in the company, when his father retired from the
      business and he oversaw the store’s expansion in the 1890s. The building on the opposite
      side of Deansgate (now Waterstone’s) was purchased and connected to the main store by an underground walkway.”

  4. Jim Bowker says:

    Quite often the case once listed these buildings deteriorate become eyesores. Should the listing not require an ‘in keeping ‘ development plan?

  5. Valerie Jordan says:

    By the time plans are agreed and passed it will be a complete ruin so what is the point of listed building status.

    • Jennifer says:

      Couldn’t agree more Valerie. My thoughts entirely. Unfortunately Iain has not answered our questions and I suspect that is because he doesn’t have an answer. No win situation.

  6. Graham Greenhalgh says:

    I recognise that many interesting points have been raised. However, as another local councillor I have yet to find any method or am aware of any powers available to force a developer to ‘expedite’ a development. The rules are set down by national government policy, sadly.
    It ill becomes anyone to suggest that any delays are the result of collusion with local politicians.
    I chaired a committee some years ago to help preserve some of Stockport’s iconic older buildings with specific attention to the old mills. Stockport it appears has amongst the highest percent of old mills still extant. This committee reported on the desire to maintain where possible our local inherited buildings. Including, where planning rules allowed, to be pragmatic about planning criteria over expediency.
    It is, of course, personal opinion but I believe Belmont House qualifies as a local asset.
    At the very least we can accept that sympathetic repurposing these old buildings is environmentally and ecologically a benefit to the community.
    At the time I chaired that committee the local cause celebre was the Tatton cinema building. After many, many years of campaigning most by Cllr Iain Roberts that property is now a useful addition to Gatley village centre and a beneficial and pleasing development. We can expect Belmont House will emerge in a similar state.

    • John Hartley says:

      Not wishing to dredge up ancient history, Graham. But seeing as you claim the Tatton as a success, may I remind you that the Lib Dems (along with the Tories and Labour locally), successfully opposed the initial development plan, condemning the villlage to having the eyesore remain with us for many more years than would have otherwise been the case. I doubt, with hindsight, whether there would be many who think the final development is an improvement on the original proposal.

      • Iain Roberts says:

        Fair point John, though it’s also true that I was one of only five people to write to the council in support of that Tatton development.

  7. Theo Singer says:

    I live very close to the Belmont. I have watched children use it as a playground for years and have often complained to the police and to Ian about the lack of security. I welcome the redevelopment of the site ASAP. Subject to certain provisos:
    1. Tree preservation orders are respected. (I do not trust the developers not to make a “mistake”.
    2. The site plans are not changed and a more intensive development is not added.
    3 The facade of the old building which is attractive is retained. Other than that I see no reason in retaining the rest of the building
    4. Traffic calming measures are introduced on Schools Hill ASAP. I recently helped a 91 year old woman across the road because the traffic was so fast. There needs to be another Pelican crossing placed close to the Belmont, a speed camera that WORKS and more double yellow lines near the Boys and Girls home.
    The traffic on Schools Hill has increased exponentially in the last 30 years and the speeds that I see cars driving at are frightening. There will be a fatality soon if something is not done.

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