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SALFORD LANGWORTHY HOTEL DEMOLISHED AS PIGEONS PREY IN NEW £5.5MILLION CHURCH
 

Star date: 14th March 2012

LISTED LANGWORTHY HOTEL DEMOLISHED WHILE NEW £5.5MILLION CHURCH TURNS PIGEON PENTHOUSE

Despite all the millions of pounds of public money that's been poured into Langworthy. Despite the community wanting the Langworthy Hotel to be retained. And despite the building being Grade A locally listed, the bulldozers are in the process of flattening one of Salford's last remaining community landmarks.

Meanwhile, a few yards up Langworthy Road, the new `landmark' Emmanuel Church is on hold yet again as it turns into the most expensive pigeon loft in Britain. What the hell is going on?

Full story here…


Langworthy Hotel Demolished Langworthy Hotel Demolished Langworthy Hotel Demolished
Langworthy Hotel Demolished Langworthy Hotel Demolished Langworthy Hotel Demolished
Langworthy Hotel Demolished Langworthy Hotel Demolished Emmanuel Church Langworthy Road
Emmanuel Church Langworthy Road Langworthy Hotel Demolished
click image to enlarge

PART 1

LANGWORTHY HOTEL – a demolition odyssey…

Surely the most ironic title ever for a newsletter circulating in Langworthy and Seedley was `Making It Better'. Bursting with propaganda about how fab the regeneration of the area would be, exactly nine years ago the glossy newsletter featured an article about the Langworthy Hotel

"The hotel is an important landmark for the community and they asked for it to be retained as part of the regeneration work in the area. Exciting projects are currently in the pipeline for the future use of the building" gushed Making It Better.

Forward wind to 2012 and the "important landmark for the community" is currently being bulldozed. How exciting is that?

The last decade has been the story of botched plans, torn up consultations and the unwillingness of Salford Council to divert any of its vast amounts of regeneration funding into the Hotel, apart from the inflated £385,000 cost of originally purchasing it, and the £63,760 cost of demolishing it.

Back in April 2004, the Seedley and Langworthy Trust (SALT) carried out a consultation, with the results showing that two thirds of respondents wanted the Langworthy Hotel saved and re-opened as a new community venue. The least popular option was for it to be demolished.

In March 2006, when Salford Council was flush with regeneration money for the area, Council officer Terry McBride told the community at a Environmental Task Group meeting that "the Council does not have the resources to fund the development itself so will have to work with developers…"

Urban Splash, which had already pocketed millions of pounds of public money for its Chimney Pot Park upside down houses, "have shown no interest", McBride reported, while Manchester Methodist and SALT had been working on an option "but this has not proved feasible…only one option appears financially viable – demolition and new build."

Minutes of the community meeting show that McBride also informed the community that "The building is not listed."

Later that year, however, the Hotel was put on the market with Salford Council's sales spec stating that the Langworthy Hotel was classified as Grade A- on Salford City Council's Local List of buildings, structures and features of architectural and archaeological interest… "potentially of statutory list quality and to be the subject of notification…if imminently threatened."

The sales report added that the Council was looking for developers who would "help drive the regeneration of the Langworthy Road Village centre…We believe that this building, its location, architectural attributes and close ties to the local community provides the essential requirements to create a positive impact that will ensure the continued transformation of the Seedley and Langworthy area."

Despite over £68million being pumped into the area to `transform' it, there were no takers, and in March 2011 Salford Council took the decision to demolish the Langworthy Hotel, arguing that it had a "detrimental impact on the surrounding area" and should be demolished "to remove blight and health and safety risks associated with the existing derelict structure". (see here)

"We bought the Langworthy Hotel several years ago at the request of the local community who were keen to have it turned into a community resource" says Salford City Council Leader John Merry "Unfortunately, despite significant efforts, we have never been able to find anyone who was able to find a viable use for the building.

"We have had to take the difficult decision to demolish the hotel to avoid it falling into further disrepair" he adds "We are now looking at what we can do with the site and are hoping to use some of it to develop housing to benefit the community in Langworthy."

As the bulldozers continue to trash the Hotel, questions have to be asked as to how, in the middle of a `flagship' regeneration scheme, no funding could be found for a valued `community landmark', while £10million could be found for Salford Council resources at MediaCityUK, and loans could be found for the Salford Community Stadium, and £15million could be found to underwrite commercial rents at the yet to be built `Ugly Sisters' buildings in Greengate.

All along, central to the negotiations around the future of the Langworthy Hotel, has been the Manchester Methodist organisation, now called Great Places Housing Association.

Great Places has also been central to the new Emmanuel Church development and apartments next door to the Langworthy Hotel. The minutes of the April 2006 community meeting show that local resident Mark Tandy "asked if the church development is a conflict of interest as both developments are being carried out by Manchester Methodists…"

Another local resident, Lynn Pringle-Adley, said "that the Council should stop singing the praises of Manchester Methodists as they have far too much influence in the area and created the problems in the first place…"

Was it in the interest of Manchester Methodist/Great Places to retain the Langworthy Hotel as residential units or community facilities when it would be competing with a scheme it was very much involved with next door?

Salford Council now states that it is looking at future options for the cleared site. Whatever those options are, it seems more than ironic that yet another historic community landmark in Salford is being trashed, while a new £multi-million so-called `landmark building', the Emmanuel Church development, is in an absolute state of dereliction, with pigeons nesting in its broken walls and flying out of its skylights…


PART TWO: The £5.5million Pigeon Penthouse - click here

wrote
at 18:08:29 on 14 March 2012
Dear Councillor Merry. I would like to pick up on one or two things, if I may? Firstly, this statement: "Unfortunately, despite significant efforts, we have never been able to find anyone who was able to find a viable use for the building." If the intention was to use the building for a community resource, surely the the 'anyone' who should have found a viable use for the building was your own organisation - Salford Council? It is not up to private business to provide for the community, it is for the council using our money - our tax money I mean. Or, the money which seems to be diverted to private business so frequently. And then this: "We are now looking at what we can do with the site and are hoping to use some of it to develop housing to benefit the community in Langworthy." What has changed here? You can find developers interested in the site, but not in a building which is a very important part of the cultural heritage of the city? In other cities - take London for example - this building would have been cherished. It would have paid for itself in tourist money. Your own organisations website is at pains to tell us what a great, vibrant, culturally interesting city Salford is, so why is tourism not being developed? And let's be honest, Salford is very much on the world map for a lot of reasons. Take this as an accusation, if you like, but I would call it more a question which I know you will not deign to answer - because as I have said, you do not believe yourself accountable to those you serve - but here goes anyway: Is it not the case that the council bought this building with zero intention of keeping it, but always with the intention of destroying it when a deal could be done for private housing to be situated on the land? Mr Merry. Sir. This is what we, the people, your employers for goodness sake, believe. You are very much aware of this forum, so we know that you are reading this page. Will you not address these questions? Will you not, when directly challenged, speak to the people of Salford through the only forum they feel they can trust? I imagine the silence will be deafening. We shall not hold our breaths.
 
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