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SALFORD TOWN HALL TO BE TURNED INTO LUXURY APARTMENTS
 

Star date: 24th August 2013

BEXLEY SQUARE TOWN HALL HORROR AS HERITAGE DISAPPEARS

Salford's old Town Hall at Bexley Square, last used as Salford Magistrates Court, is to be turned into 122 `luxury apartments' called X1 Town Hall by Liverpool based X1 Developments.

Salford people had hoped the Grade 2 listed building would be used for community activities – but the submitted planning documents don't even make reference to the Battle of Bexley Square, or the Square's current traditional use for protest gatherings.

Full details here…


Salford Old Town Hall Bexley Square Salford Old Town Hall Bexley Square Salford Battle of Bexley Square Plaque
Bexley Square Salford Rallies Bexley Square Salford Rallies Bexley Square Salford Rallies
Bexley Square Salford Rallies Bexley Square Salford Rallies Bexley Square Salford Rallies
Bexley Square Salford Rallies Bexley Square Salford Rallies Bexley Square Salford Rallies
Bexley Square Salford Rallies Salford Town Hall X1 Development
click image to enlarge

The Grade 2 listed old Salford Town Hall on Bexley Square, last used as Salford Magistrates Court, is to be turned into 122 `luxury apartments'; as investments that will "increase in value long term; as well as providing high rental yields today" according to planning documents submitted to Salford Council by X1 Developments – self described as an "an investment company based in the heart of Liverpool which meets the needs of UK and overseas investors".

It was hoped that the old Town Hall, a public building erected around 1827, would be used for community activities of some sort. Instead, X1 Developments, in partnership with another property investment company, Knight Knox International, don't even mention the historic significance of the building to Salford people in their planning documents.

The old Town Hall was the scene of the historic Battle of Bexley Square (click here for details) and the wall currently sports a red plaque to denote this. The steps of the building are also traditionally used by speakers at rallies for May Day and the start of marches into Manchester, such as this year's 29th September Salford march to the Tory Party Conference. Indeed, Salford City Mayor Ian Stewart stood on the steps of the Town Hall a few years ago to address a May Day rally.

All the planning documents state is that "Bexley Square…provides an
attractive focus to the area".
The question is whether rallies and protest marches will be allowed to take place once the privatised building is functional for the "young professionals" whom X1 is hoping to attract.

Meanwhile, the basement of the old Town Hall, according to planning documents, "contains artefacts and art works… including porcelain coronets from the courts, marble busts from the niches in the library and spare Jackield tiles from the entrance hall".

These will stay on site `in appropriate locations' for the new inhabitants to enjoy. The court library will also be refurbished "for the private use of residents" while the court rooms and a cell, will be retained to "allow various TV productions, such as Coronation Street, which has previously filmed on-site, to continue capturing dramatic court scenes".

And, yet again, it looks as though Chapel Street will be marketed as `Manchester'…

"This unique building is located just off Chapel Street, which is an extremely exciting area for investors in Manchester" Martin Copeland, Sales Director at Knight Knox International, spewed in his PR spiel "This refurbishment holds a particular excitement for me as it is such a landmark building."

It's just a shame that he doesn't know which city it is in…or the Square's significance to the people of that city.


* For full details of the planning application see Salford Council's Planning Applications section – click here – and enter 13/63615/FUL

* To comment on the application click on Comments on the application page (you have to register and wait until it's been publicly advertised).

Salford Star wrote
at 17:05:54 on 08 October 2013
See Bill Hamilton's comment below... The Salford Star does not block any comments because they don't agree with our editorial stance. Indeed most comments prob don't agree with our editorial stance! We only block comments that could be conceived as libel, racism or really OTT language. In fact just been through all the blocked comments since this article appeared and didn't notice yours there - then, when we went on to respond to your comment, it's actually there and did get posted at the time. Suggest a trip to Specsavers!
 
Bill Hamilton wrote
at 16:57:35 on 08 October 2013
You did not publish my last comment because I favour this development. This partisan attitude is what has kept Salford a backwater for decades.
 
Bill Hamilton wrote
at 19:33:15 on 03 October 2013
My dad was there helping organising unemployed workers of which he was one himself, but after decades of labour left rule in Salford he became disillusioned and told me:'Son, if you put a red ribbon on a pig in Salford the people would vote for it.' Let's cheer the developers and the young professionals who are prepared to take a risk with their money, their livelihoods and lets face it: their lives.
 
matt cowin wrote
at 07:10:36 on 27 September 2013
the town hall is a derilict building, any change to bring the area back to life is a positive thing...It will enhance the whole area.
 
wrote
at 16:47:06 on 28 August 2013
@curious, I know well about the Salford Reds Fiasco, thanks very much. What happened there was Land changed hands between directors whilst Salford dived into another deal with Peel to get the stadium built - then the monies for the sale of property on land would pay off part of the debt to the council...in the meantime Dr Koucash steps in - buys the club and guess what? once more the ratepayers get stung - because our beloved rugby club transferred every last bit of debt (inc, the money it owed the council) to the old company, now I don't know how much a Harold Riley painting sells for these days , but i'm darn sure it don't cover the cost of subsidising a private enterprise - but this is what happens in general in Salford Private companies come in, they buy plots of land - get council to stump up the cash to develop it - then scarper if there's any profit involved - losses? Oh! council can take that in a Council Tax increase..easy. If you consider the thought that a large proportion of council spending has indirectly been spent (in school / development budgets) by outside agencies (inc. the usual suspects - Peel and all) it then makes the case why I'm reading a Daycare centre or school is closing to save costs. As for Peel - were paying them to clean up their own Mess!!! for the Jobs angle, promised - the "media" school is there - challenge to the bright shiny media city - out of those leaving this year - how many have you taken on? If its less than promised...don't expect another payment...and to the peelites - Im a realist - if >20% come from the city borders i'll be happy!
 
Steven North wrote
at 05:54:56 on 28 August 2013
One day we'll wake up and every city on Earth will just be a homogeneous blob of apartments and branded coffee shops. This is a place that is so important to the history of our city, but to those in the Council Chamber it's just another excuse for a quick buck - that they'll probably end up throwing at Peel Holdings anyway.
 
Curious wrote
at 05:54:41 on 28 August 2013
@Brian F Kirkham, it seems to me from your post that you believe section 106 benefits the developer, for those that don't know Sec106 is basically what is thought by some as a bung. If you want to build something that impacts the local environment then the council "might" apply section 106 funding to the development, this means that the developer has to give the council some money towards improving the local area, supposededly to aliveate the impact upon the area of the developement. The council then spend this Wonga on improving maybe a playground and claim the credit for it themselves (the £500k "invested" in Builehill park is a shining example of this). What does surprise me is that the new Salford reds stadium was not a section 106 nor was the old ground in Weaste or the proposed hotel in Builehill park, which at the time was being propsed by Mr Salford reds. Strange??????
 
Brian F Kirkham wrote
at 18:07:58 on 27 August 2013
I'm typing this with a VERY heavy heart right now. I must have mentioned this many a time now - and as usual its fallen on deaf ears. Firstly - given the rebranding of the docks on Trafford Rd, you would think common sense would prevail and the developer actually get the Geographic Location of its Developments right (it seems to know where to pick up the section 106 Monies when it needs to). Secondly, where is it written in planning policy that every old building on the councils books has to be flogged off to a private developer? - Don't the council do development work anymore? or is that part of the council tax just used to fund its private partners? And Last but not Least what kind of companies are we dealing with that takes our properties (if they are on the council books - they belong to the people of Salford - NOT the beancounters!) makes us pay for the refurb but then upon sale - keeps all of the profit for itself? I think of all the council property & Land passed over for "Development Projects" - Did the council see any return on their asset - or did the liability just get passed on in the council tax bill? Over to you Civic...
 
Kenneth w mckelvey wrote
at 18:07:44 on 27 August 2013
Is it any wonder that business’s are not coming into Salford. Every piece of spare land is handed to Building Developers. For unaffordable housing (not for Salfordians )or Super markets or large ShopsThe Docks/ Colgate/ Agecroft pit/Cussons/Etc the list is endless. What has got me compleatly flumexed Salford Council can apply to the EEC for development grants With us having such an horrondous number of unemployed young people. This City of ours is a disaster zone and with this Useless Government it will stay one for the foreseeable future .So why not apply to the EEC Salford is as bad as any other place Greece etc
 
Mark P wrote
at 12:37:54 on 27 August 2013
Hi Mary, I agree with what you say about not wanting Salford to be part of manchester. To be honest, over the past few of year I have developed a real dislike for anything to do with manchester. I am proud to be a Salfordian. I am starting to feel the council needs a leader from Salford who cares about Salford and the people of Saford. Only then will we see an upturn in our city's fortunes. I am sick of seeing all our historical buildings being demolished or sold to private developers to be transformed into "luxory appartments" while other cities are proud of their past. Salford council seems to be ashamed of our city's past. The university has stabbed us in the back by including the word "manchester" in its logo, apparently because people are thick and don't know where Salford is so they had to include that word, Peel have rebranded MediaCityUK as "MediaCityUK manchester" which is outragious! There was also the proposed plans the alter the political boundaries of our city. And all this follows the closure of the city's maternity ward which means that, unless you have an home birth, no child will be born in the city of Salford! This feels like some sort of genocide against Salfordians! I think all of this is all pointing to our city being slowly swallowed up and incorporated into manchester. It's like Salford is being rubbed out of history. What is so special about manchester? I realy don't get all the hype about the place. I think the greater manchester crap needs to be dropped too, we are Salford, Lancashire! GM only serves for administrative purposes, it has no county council. It is a tool used by the city of manchester to envelope all of the neighbouring towns and cities and have them under it's banner. Who is responsible for appointing these people that lead the council? They all need to go and be replaced by Salfordians.
 
Monty wrote
at 12:37:37 on 27 August 2013
Well said Insider. They are certainly Overpaid Muppets . All council work should be strictly reserved for Salfordians , with no exceptions .
 
Insider wrote
at 10:52:43 on 26 August 2013
Little wonder when this council is run by scoucers like scary spicer and her yuppy friend Karen Hirst in charge of regeneration a reject from felicity goodeys mob ex colleague of Stewart Halll BBC . Neither of them live in Salford or intned to but take the ratepayers money. Overpaid muppets who probably run rings round our Mayor!
 
Steve Winder wrote
at 16:35:15 on 25 August 2013
Apart from sell off most of Salford, feather his own & friends nest with Salford's monies, just what has this Mayor done for the people of Salford, & How can he justify his exorbitant wage bill?
 
mary ferrer wrote
at 06:33:11 on 25 August 2013
This was always the plan. At least its not going to be tinned up and left to rot, like a lot of our historical buildings. We are a city in our own right and I for one don't want to be part of Manchester. I am Salford born and breed and very proud of that fact. Think its about time we true Salfordians put our foot down and stop this sell-off.
 
dc wrote
at 17:28:58 on 24 August 2013
Did anyone really expect the Town Hall Mafia to do otherwise ? This means they can extort even more zero-value council tax . More taxpayers money for the Mafia to squander in this Dead City ..
 
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