A NEW HOME
FOR SANDOWN HALL?
Almost seven years after Sandown Hall, Wavertree, was demolished, plans have been announced to re-erect it in the countryside outside Clitheroe in Lancashire. More precisely, the proposal is to incorporate its front elevation within a new home on the site of Denisfield House, Rimington.
Since 2000 the sandstone blocks - each of them numbered when the pillared and pedimented façade was taken down - have been stored on pallets in a field at Grappenhall in Cheshire, awaiting a buyer. A previous attempt to rebuild the Hall at Nether Alderley came to nothing, owing to the site's Green Belt status.
Now a different prospective owner - a chartered accountant called Tony Ford - has taken an option on the blocks (which come with a diagram showing how they fit together!) and seems more likely to succeed. The land is not in the Green Belt, and the proposal is simply to replace an existing dwelling.
We fought two public inquiries in an attempt to keep the listed building on its original Wavertree site - but we have nevertheless given the current proposal our support. We would rather see Sandown Hall rebuilt in Rimington - not least as a permanent reminder of the folly of its Liverpool owner, who neglected it, and of the planning system which permitted its destruction - than for it to end up as a pile of rubble.
Mr Ford's planning application was considered by Ribble Valley Council's Planning Committee on 26th April, with a recommendation for approval. However, as a result of an objection from Rimington & Middop Parish Council - who felt that the red Wavertree sandstone would be out of keeping with its North Lancashire surroundings - a decision was deferred. The applicant will now have to produce a sample stone panel, to show the Committee how the finished product will look. We await the final decision with interest.