A landmark building which dominates the Ashton skyline is back on the market after a failed conversion into 51 apartments that have never been occupied.
The ten-storey-high Oakglade House, formerly Crown House – is being offered for sale for a cool £1.5m.
The property was once home to Ashton’s tax office and occupied from the 1960s until the summer of 2009 by HMRC. There were discussions back in 2010 about the possibility of the building becoming a college but they were never progressed.
The once dark grey imposing building, which stands next to Ashton’s Royal Mail sorting office, was then totally transformed into a colourful block of apartments.
Two penthouse suites were added to the top of the building with their own terraces providing far reaching views across Saddleworth to the east and Manchester to the west.
Works began at the end of 2013 by Salford-based Stama Developments Ltd. The building, which stands on the corner of Booth Street and Fleet Street with the A635 running along the southern boundary, was eventually painted yellow and red, with metal balconies added to both sides for individual apartments.
Oakglade House is back on the market for £1.5m.
Inside the ten floors were totally transformed into swish, brand new spacious apartments with wooden and tile flooring and fully tiled bathrooms and brand new kitchens, with many of the upper floor apartments affording spectacular views across the skyline.
By 2016 the apartments had come to the rental market with an office set up inside the ground floor apartment and prospective tenants touring the building to choose their favourite flat.
However, catastrophe struck soon after with the building suddenly ‘closed down’ and locked up with notices warning the public that the building was still a building site and not to enter.
Those who did step in at the time reported widespread flooding, with walls dripping wet and wooden floors sadly warped, rising and buckled.
Now, having stood empty since the conversion, the building is being offered up for sale to prospective purchasers as a refurbishment / development opportunity.
The sales information makes it clear that significant works are still required to bring the apartments up to scratch and meet planning approvals outlined by Tameside Council’s planning department.
The opportunity is being offered by Manchester-based Roger Hannah & Co, who say they have been instructed to sell the freehold interests in the whole buildings and 50 of the 51 long leasehold (residue of 125 years) apartments. The site also provides 31 on-site car parking spaces accessed off Fleet Street.
The development consists of ten studio apartments, one, one bedroom apartment; 29 two bed and 11 three bed apartments.
Information from Roger Hannah states: “The conversion was not satisfactorily completed by the original developer and has never been occupied.
“The property is currently vacant and works will be required to the building to bring it up to a suitable state of repair.
“The developer will be required to undertake a schedule of works. A high level scoping document is available.”
Informal tenders are now invited for the freehold and long leasehold interests on a conditional and unconditional basis with any bidding party required to provide a track record of development.
The location of the building is listed as being within the town centre conservation area and was identified in the Ashton Town Centre Strategy SPD as being a potential redevelopment site as offices or for residential use.
Interested parties can contact Roger Hannah & Co by telephoning 0161 817 3399 or for further information, e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ashton Old Baths hosted tech giant Google today for a ‘Digital Garage’ event.
The initiative aims to help local businesses compete with bigger brands by teaching them how to effectively use SEO, social media and other tools such as ‘analytics’ that Google can provide.
Prab Chadha, a Google Trainer and Coach said that although the event is catered towards businesses, anyone could come along and utilise the skills being taught.
Prab said: “It’s a chance for the wider community to get a better understanding of digital technology.
“These sessions are totally free for everyone… this particular campaign is known as a “market town” campaign, where we try to help places like this across the UK who have significant pressures from places like out-of-town shopping centres, to use technology as leverage to compete with bigger organisations.
“Our aim is to educate, but ultimately inspire the wider community and let them understand that we’re here to help.”
The day was packed full of presentations, tackling subjects such as digital market planning, how to represent yourself on social media, understanding business data, how to make your business stand out on Google and digital advertising.
Angela Raynor, the MP for Ashton-Under-Lyne was also in attendance.
Google have held a number of Digital Garage workshops across the nation, with a number of pop-up shops in places such as Manchester, Edinburgh and Birmingham providing one-to-one advice for anyone wanting to learn more about linking technology to their business.
For more information on the initiative, visit: https://learndigital.withgoogle.com/digitalgarage
Stalybridge Celtic Foundation has taken delivery of two clothes recycling bins at Bower Fold, supporting one of their six adopted charities for the 2018/19 season, Reuben’s Retreat (Charity Number: 1150436).
The bins are easily accessible at the ground, one situated in between the main entrance and the middle gate, with the other right outside the turnstiles near the Social Club.
The club welcomes donations of any unwanted children’s or adult clothes and shoes, all shapes and sizes, so if you are coming up to the match, going to the gym or just passing, you can drop them off anytime of the day and night.
Mike Smith, Community Development Officer, said: “We are delighted to help and assist Reuben’s Retreat with this request and hope that our supporters and the general public, can donate any clothing they no longer require. We also look forward to welcoming staff and volunteers from Reuben’s Retreat to Bower Fold on Saturday 3rd November 2018 for their designated Charity Day at Stalybridge Celtic FC where they have lots of activities planned!”
Three men have been arrested tonight on suspicion of attempted murder following a shooting in Tameside earlier today.
Police were called to Croft Street, Hyde, at around 2.35 this afternoon following reports that gunshots had been fired on the street.
Officers attended and discovered no-one had been injured, but damage had been caused to the rear windscreen of a red Ford Fiesta car.
Enquiries to trace the offenders – who fled from the scene in a blue Vauxhall Adam – have been ongoing throughout the afternoon and descriptions of those involved were circulated to officers.
Just after 6.10pm this evening, officers spotted a man matching one of the descriptions in a taxi on Hyde Road, Gorton.
Two men aged 22 and one man aged 18 were subsequently arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. They remain in custody for questioning.
A blue Vauxhall Adam has been recovered from the Openshaw area.
Detective Inspector Karl Ward, said: “Thanks to the quick thinking and actions of our officers this evening, we have been able to make arrests following this alarming incident earlier today.
“From what we know at this time, we don’t believe there to be any wider risk to people in the Hyde area and I’m thankful no-one was injured but, while we have made these arrests and recovered a car, we still need people with information to contact us and help us as our investigation continues.”
Enquiries are ongoing and anyone with information should contact police on 101 quoting reference number 1119 of 18/10/18 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Residents close to Oldham Street in Denton are being warned of an unpleasant smell as National Grid starts work to dismantle two unused gasholders.
The National Grid site is being cleared as part of the company’s ongoing nationwide gasholder dismantling program. Gasholders are no longer required due to investments made to improve the national network, meaning gas can be stored in the pipe system or underground. The holders at Oldham Street have not been used since 2009.
The Coleman Group, specialist contractors appointed by National Grid, will first remove and treat any water from the gasholders, before removing the sludge and any other debris from the base.
Removing the sludge can produce an unpleasant smell, similar to diesel. This smell is not harmful to people who live in the surrounding community or the environment and National Grid say they will do everything they can to make sure it does not become an issue.
Hannah White, Land Regeneration Manager for National Grid, said: “We will remove the gas holders as safely, quickly and efficiently as possible to minimise the impact on local people and the environment.
“We have written to people who live and work in the local community to explain what we will be doing. If anyone has any questions about the project they can contact our community relations team on 0800 8199 071.”
National Grid’s gas safety guidance remains unchanged by the work. If people do think they can smell gas they should contact the freephone gas emergency number 0800 111 999. All reports will be investigated by appropriate gas engineers to establish if they are related to the gasholder dismantling work or are genuine gas escapes.
The site will remain securely fenced at all times with full CCTV coverage. The work will be strictly controlled to minimise any potential disturbance for people who live and work close by.
One Labour councillor said he felt attacked when a Tory councillor sent him ‘pictures of Britney Spears’ on social media.
By local democracy reporter Charlotte Green.
Councillors in Tameside have called for a new social media code of conduct to stop members ‘slagging each other off’ online.
One Labour councillor said he felt attacked when a Tory councillor sent him ‘pictures of Britney Spears’ during an online debate.
The issue was raised during a discussion about a recommendation from the democratic processes working group, which suggested that a policy is introduced to govern councillors’ behaviour around elections.
But cabinet member Coun Ged Cooney, who chairs the group, told full council that the position was ‘weak’ and he would like to see it strengthened to cover the entire time a councillor was in their post.
“I accept that politicians can have differences of opinion. Quite rightly so and that’s healthy, that’s democracy,” he said.
“And it can be robust as well I’ve no problem with that.”
He added that what was considered offensive was subject to people’s individual opinions, citing the famous case of the controversial novel, Lady Chatterley’s Lover.
“But the problem is when you go onto the internet and you use inappropriate language and you attack each other in certain manners, it’s bullying,” Coun Cooney said.
“I get attacked but I’m not too mithered.
“In some cases it’s rude, it’s offensive, and to some people it can be deemed bullying and that is not what we want in this chamber.”
Councillors then revealed instances where they had felt personally attacked by other members on social media – including sending them ‘pictures of Britney Spears’.
Hyde Coun Jim Fitzpatrick quoted some of the tweets he said he ‘had to put up with’ from other Tameside councillors and members of the public.
One accused him of being ‘lazy lying Labour’, he told members.
“It’s not acceptable, it’s not acceptable what some of the Tory councillors in this room have done,” he said.
“I will have political discussion, and I have with Councillor [Liam] Billington. But it descends into him sending me cartoons or pictures of Britney Spears for some reason, saying I’m obsessed.
“I don’t know why he needs to do that, he can quite easily debate with me but it does descend into that sort of childish behaviour for some reason.”
Coun Fitzpatrick added that Tameside council had blocked Councillors Phil Chadwick and Coun Billington on Twitter while they were campaigning for the Conservatives, and had only unblocked them when the pair were elected.
“We now have a Hyde councillor who thinks it’s alright to go on social media and call me a liar,” he said.
“What they’re doing as elected councillors is not acceptable and it needs to be stopped.
“You’re a councillor 24/7. People expect a certain standard of behaviour from you.”
But Tory councillor Clive Patrick revealed for the first time at the meeting that he believed his sexuality had been used as a way of discrediting him on social media by Coun Fitzpatrick in the run up to the 2012 election.
It followed a leaflet that he distributed before the election about the number of serving councillors who were involved in relationships with each other.
“I quite understandably suggested that this council, incestuous is not quite the right word but we all know what I mean by that. So many councillors married to other councillors,” he said.
Within three days of the election, a message was posted on Twitter saying his criticism was unfair ‘because of that man I lived with’, Coun Patrick told the meeting.
He added: “I’m open with my sexuality, I couldn’t care less.
“But just before the election nobody can deny that that was not put out to inform the people.
“I’ve never had an apology from a certain Jim Fitzpatrick for that, but that happened and that hurt.
He said that he and his partner even went to the police for advice following the incident, and he believes Coun Fitzpatrick still owes him an apology.
Deputy Tory group leader Coun Doreen Dickinson told members ‘they’re all as bad as one another’.
She said: “It’s childish, the electorate don’t like it, it’s a war between two people. But listening to Councillor Fitzpatrick you’d think the Labour party was like the driven snow.
“The comments that were put on during the election were from both Labour and Conservative councillors.”
Coun Cooney told the assembled members that they were not internet ‘trolls’.
“We’re not keyboard warriors sat with our little y-fronts on, we’re elected members dealing with people’s issues,” he added.
“We should all pledge, yes we can disagree, but we’ll use the language of politics rather than personalities and other issues, condemning people and calling them liars and bringing people’s sexuality into it.”
Chairman of council business, Coun Joe Kitchen added: “It should stop. Unfortunately we don’t have any rules or regulations to stop it.
“Once you send them callous posts they’re out there forever. And it actually turns voters off because the last thing they want is elected representatives slagging each other off, it’s uncalled for and unnecessary.
“But if that’s the way councillors want to behave outside of this forum, I’m sure there will a price to pay sooner or later in the ballot box.”
Council leader Brenda Warrington extended an offer to the Conservative group to meet with her to establish a joint code of conduct on social media that would apply to all of the borough’s councillors.
Tameside’s top boss has branded criticism of their children’s services as ‘despicable cheap shots’ amid concern they are not improving quickly enough.
By local democracy reporter Charlotte Green.
Tameside council’s top boss has branded criticism of its children’s services as ‘despicable cheap shots’ amid concerns they are not improving quickly enough.
Ofsted had rated the authority’s department ‘inadequate’ at the end of 2016, and since then it has been working on an improvement plan and invested around £18m across two years.
There have been six subsequent monitoring inspections by the watchdog, each looking at a different aspect of the service.
The latest inspection – assessing how the town hall deals with looked after children – stated that in ‘too many areas’ of the services for children in care the pace of progress has been slow.
An unstable workforce – with more than a third of staff in the department employed through agencies – is the authority’s ‘biggest challenge’, according to the watchdog.
At a meeting of Tameside’s full council, deputy Conservative group leader, Councillor Doreen Dickinson said it appeared that in the first 12 months councillors and officers in charge ‘buried their heads in the sand’.
“Children’s services have been inadequate since 2016, almost two years on and there has been very little improvement,” she told members.
“Before anyone decides to tell me this is all down to austerity, Tameside’s children’s services have had a budget of £77 million since 2015.
“So if it was just money we should have a really good Ofsted by now.
“Unfortunately that is not the case and I can say a previous director of children’s services said, ‘bad practice is endemic within Tameside’.
“That has nothing to do with money, and being personally involved with social services in Tameside I can say I find the service appalling.”
Coun Dickinson said she did not blame the staff on the ground, but the failings of leadership.
With the amount of money being poured into the service and help from Stockport council, they should be seeing better results, she added.
“I personally would be very disappointed with the progress made and I think it’s time someone got a grip,” she said.
“I know children are not in danger, but they and their carers do deserve a far better service than the one that has been available to them in the past.
“They need the service turning around to good far more quickly than is happening at present.”
Cabinet member Oliver Ryan, who is now in charge of the children’s services portfolio responded that the Conservative group had ‘collective amnesia’ about the service.
“You all like to take your pot shots at children’s services when the time comes about because the headline is that it’s still inadequate,” he said.
“Actually when you look at what’s happened with children’s services, the changes that we’ve made since that judgement, it’s been absolutely groundbreaking.”
Subsequent inspections were not sequential, and therefore didn’t summarise a trend within the service, he told the meeting.
“There’s things that we are doing as a council to improve services and actually we feel we are making progress on this, and actually I think it’s a bit cheap to constantly come in and say it’s currently inadequate,” Coun Ryan said.
“There is a trend, and there are green shoots and we are heading in the right direction.”
He added that they had more children in care than ever before, and they were doing more with less in the context of squeezing public sector budgets.
Council leader Brenda Warrington also hit back at the criticism, which she said was motivated by a desire to get publicity for the Tories.
“These cheap shots at children’s services when all of our staff are working so, so hard to turn things around is despicable. It’s absolutely despicable,” the Labour leader said.
“Yes this council has to recognise that we have been rated inadequate. That was recognised and we set out very quickly to address every aspect of children’s services that led to that rating.
“There have been noticeable improvements, Ofsted have noticed those improvements and have been very pleased with the direction of travel that children’s services is now on.
“We will definitely be maintaining that direction, we want to make sure that rating of inadequate is able to be changed for the better.”
She added: “Councillor Dickinson you may get publicity but it will be for all the wrong reasons.
“Our children’s services staff are really working absolutely magnificently hard, lots of things have been changed, lots of things have been addressed.
“And I am pleased with that direction and I stand by being proud of them.”
Bury v Notts County, Crawley Town v Newmport County, Forest Green Rovers v Cheltenham Town, Grimsby Town v Exeter City, Lincoln City v Cambridge United, Macclesfield Town v Carlisle United, MK Dons v Northampton Town, Morecambe v Colchester United, Oldham Athletic v Port Vale, Stevenage v Crewe Alexandra, Swindon Town v Mansfield Town, Yeovil Town v Tranmere Rovers
NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH:
Brackley Town v Spennymoor Town, Curzon Ashton v AFC Telford Utd, Darlington v Boston United, Kidderminster Harriers v FC United, Nuneaton Borough v Bradford Park Avenue
EVO-STIK PREMIER DIVISION:
Bamber Bridge v Basford United, Buxton v North Ferriby United, Lancaster City v Scarborough Athletic, Matlock Town v Hednesford Town, Nantwich Town v Workington, Stafford Rangers v Hyde United, Stalybridge Celtic v Farsley Celtic, Whitby Town v Mickleover Sports
Chasetown v Skelmersdale United, Clitheroe v Newcastle Town, Droylsden v Widnes, Kendal Town v Atherton Collieries, Market Drayton Town v Colne, Mossley v Radcliffe, Prescot Cables v Runcorn Linnets, Ramsbottom United v Glossop North End, Trafford v Colwyn Bay
FA CUP FOURTH QUALIFYING ROUND:
Cleethropes Town or Guiseley v Stourbridge, Warrington Town v FC Halifax Town, Chorley v Barrow, Hartlepool United v Workington or Kidsgrove Athletic, AFC Fylde v Chesterfield, Southport v Ashton United, Blyth Spartans v York City, Harrogate Town v Wrexham, Dunston UTS v Gateshead, Stockport County v Altrincham, Marine v Salford City, Witton Albion v Solihull Moors, Alfreton Town v St Neots Town or Coalville Town, Woking v Welling United, Hitchin Town v Leatherhead or Hanwell Town, Chippenham Town or Hendon v Maidenhead United, Eastbourne Borough v Slough Town or Bristol Manor Farm, Hemel Hempstead Town v Oxford City, Weston Super Mare v Bath City, Boreham Wood v Dagenham & Redbridge, Tiverton Town or Metropolitan Police v Havant & Waterlooville, Gloucester City or Dorking Wanderers v Bromley, Aldershot Town v Kettering Town, Torquay United v Winchester City, Billericay Town v Taunton Town or St Albans City, Eatleigh v Hampton & Richmond Borough, Wealdstone v Sutton United, Ebbsfleet United v Wothing, Maidstone United v Leyton Orient, Haringey Borough v Horsham or Poole Town, Barnet v Braintree Town, Concord Rangers v Dover Athletic
THE MACRON CUP FIRST ROUND:
Abbey Hey v Daisy Hill, Bacup Borough v Avro, Barnton v Congleton Town, Burscough v New Mills, Chadderton v 1874 Northwich, Charnock Richard v Runcorn Town, Chadle Heath Nomads v Litherland REMYCA, City of Liverpool v Ashton Athletic, Cleator Moor Celtic v Winsford United, Eccleshall v AFC Darwen, FC Oswestry Town v West Didsbury & Chorlton, Holker Old Boys v Lower Breck, Irlam v Abbey Hulton United, Longridge Town v Squires Gate, Maine Road v Steeton, Nelson v Hanley Town, Padiham v Shelley, Ryalnds v Carlisle City, Sandbach United v AFC Liverpool, Silsden v Garstang, St Helens Town v Cheadle Town, Stockport Town v Ellesmere Rangers, Stone Old Alleynians v AFC Blackpool, Whitchurch Alport v Prestwich Heys
MANCHESTER PREMIER LEAGUE:
Dukinfield Town v Beechfield United, Manchester Gregorians v East Manchester, Rochdale Sacred Heart v Hindsford, Royton Town v Bolton County, Stockport Georgians v Chadderton Reserves, Walshaw Sports v Springhead