Last days looming for ‘eyesore’ landmark
ONE of the town’s most iconic buildings is set to be demolished after more than a hundred years.
The old gasworks at Black Lane, which features a tower that has loomed over the Macclesfield landscape since 1884, could be torn down by owners National Grid.
No plans have been put forward for the future of the site.
Keith Smith, chairman of Macclesfield Civic Society, said: “This is significant because the gas towers are very familiar to everyone in the town. They have always been there. But they no longer fulfil a purpose so it must be time they went, along with the old Barracks Mill nearby. It’s certainly going to help clear the way for development in that area, maybe for housing.”
Keith Walton, 81, who was born and bred in Macclesfield, said: “I would imagine some people who live nearby at Hurdsfield might be glad to see them go. They have been there since the year dot.
“I’m sure that many people won’t care if they go and if the land can be put to good use it’s all well and good.”
The gasworks was built by a private company in 1819. The northern gas tower, built in 1884, is ‘column guided’ with a two tiers of horizontal guides visible from the street, and the second gas tower, constructed in 1924, is largely below ground.
They were fully discon- nected from the gas network in March 2012, but have not been in use since 2009.
National Grid, which manages gas supply, has submitted a planning application to Cheshire East Council to dismantle the two redundant gasholders and pipe work.
Commenting on the application, Keith Smith, from Macclesfield Civic Society, said: “The two gas holders are an accepted part of the local landscape but it is accepted that they have no significant architectural or historic interest as engineering structures.
“Now redundant, their removal would lift some constraints on develop- ment in the locality.”
A spokesman for National Grid said: “It is our aim to remove the gasholders as quickly, safely and efficiently as possible whilst minimising the impact on local people and the environment.
“National Grid will keep members of the community informed and updated throughout the project and will be working closely with our contractor’s and appointed specialists to ensure the project is carried out with as little disruption as possible.”
Planning officers are expected to make a decision on the application by July 5.
●● The old gas works at Black Lane could be demolished