August’s window on the shop windows
- BHS bows out;
- TAC building razed to ground;
- Controversial mixed-use development approved in Stalybridge
- Plus the usual retail changes in the Tameside area.
This July has been a quiet one for the local retail scene. Most of last month’s events have been dominated by the murder of Bradley Moore (43) outside McDonalds, Warrington Street. Our condolences go out to his family, including his four children who survive him and their hitherto departed mother.
BHS bows out
This month sees the end of a retail Leviathan, all for the sake of one’s flamboyant lifestyle. By the end of this month, BHS (alternately known as British Home Stores) will be no more. Locally, within a ten mile radius of Ashton-under-Lyne, this means the loss of branches at Merseyway Shopping Centre (Stockport), Manchester Arndale, Crown Point North (Denton), and Spindles Shopping Centre (Oldham).
TAC is no more
At this moment in time, the TAC building is no more. Apart from a few walls, most of Tameside’s former Council Offices have been reduced to dust. For many people born after 1974, the sight of Ashton-under-Lyne without TAC seems to be a culture shock.
Ashton Market update
Three-quarters of the new stalls on Ashton Open Market are up. By the time this month is out, we should see work begin on the new paved section nearest to Ashton Town Hall.
Tameside retail changes
The biggest change regards the start of New Charter Housing Trust‘s project in Stalybridge. Facing Armentieres Square, this will be a mixed use development with apartments let at ‘market rates’ instead of NCHT’s social housing rents. There will be space for bicycles and six new shop units.
Iceland on Bow Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, is in the midst of refurbishment. The store will be closed for two weeks, for the remodelling of its aisles, virtually unchanged since its occupancy in 1985. Over at Snipe Retail Park, some work is being done to the former Staples/Pets at Home units (originally Ashton’s first B&Q Supercentre). Could we be seeing an exciting new arrival to the Snipe?
Sue’s Chinese Take Away is set to open on the 07 August 2016. By the time you have read this, her new enterprise will be up and running.
The former Blue Ginger Chinese takeaway on Market Street, Stalybridge, has become an Indian takeaway, known as Indian Spice.
Forthcoming Planning Applications
Polite Note: for reasons of brevity, any pub and club applications come under the Pub and Club Update section. You know the drill (and I’ve tried to get one in Argos without success)…
- Cavalier Radio Cars are set to triple the size of their taxi office on 2, Water Street, Stalybridge. There will be a new two-storey block on the right hand side of the existing single-storey office.
- Plans for a new takeaway on 49, Penny Meadow, Ashton-under-Lyne have been approved. The applicant has previously applied for planning permission in 2009 to convert the unit into a coffee shop with takeaway.
- Another Costa Coffee could be coming to Ashton with plans for another branch on Ashton Moss, complete with outdoor seating. It will be adjacent to KFC opposite a roundabout. Another plan has been put in for signage.
- 21 Market Street, Hyde (next to Domino’s Pizza) could become a restaurant. Its previous uses were as an electrical appliance shop and, before then, Harold Shipman’s surgery.
- Raja Bros in Carrbrook (formerly The Buckton Castle public house) could spawn five units including the existing mini market. The first of what could be the newly created quartet of units (nearest to the mini market) could be a takeaway. There will also be accessibility improvements and additional disabled parking bays if the plan comes to fruition.
- The former NatWest Bank on Stamford Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, is set to see conversion into a mixed-use development. The house on Delamere Street could be converted into a ground floor flat, with the first floor Bank Chambers becoming seven single bedroom apartments. The former banking hall will be let to commercial tenants. We hope that the future leaseholder refrains from covering the marble floor.
- The HSBC bank on Stamford Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, is about to receive some new signage. The main difference will be the addition of ‘UK’ to its name.
- The plans are now in for the conversion of the William Andrew Swimming Baths into Active Tameside’s 24-hour gymnasium. There will also be an indoor running track, a soft play area, and two cafés. The changing rooms will move into the long-closed Dukinfield Sauna area and courtyard areas will be filled in.
- Only just in the Tameside area (near The Bull’s Head bus terminus) on 111 Reddish Lane, Denton, a former sandwich shop (and Hansfords Bakery before then) could be split into two units. One half could before an office, with the other half continuing as a sandwich shop.
- Lidl in Ashton-under-Lyne will see an extension with changes to its car parking layout and a new first floor extension for staff facilities. Remaining with Lidl (this time, their Denton branch), plans have been drawn for the installation of an automated number plate recognition system.
Pub and club update
Hold the phone! Stalybridge could lose its title of having the longest and shortest pub names in the world. How? Plans are in motion for the depubification of the Thirteenth Mounted Cheshire Rifleman Inn. I kid you not! The pub had previously been owned as a cooperative venture and has been noted for its live gigs. Plans have been submitted for its conversion into two terraced houses.
The ground floor windows of the long closed Robinsons pub, The Pineapple (on High Street, Stalybridge), have been bricked up. Further along High Street onto Acres Lane, the Stalybridge Labour Club is set to reopen as The New Labour Club. The building was opened in 1974 by the then Prime Minister and Huyton Labour MP, Harold Wilson. It is due for reopening next month. As to who’s going to cut the ribbon we don’t know.
On a happier note, The Stalybridge Tavern opened on Friday. The new establishment also has The Venue, which (as the title suggests) will focus on live music. With increased competition, The White House has seen refurbishment, making for an airier public bar.
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Are we any closer to finding an answer to the fate of The New Inn? Will the outdoor market stalls be ready in time for Christmas? All may be revealed on the first Saturday in September. Some happier news wouldn’t be a bad thing either.
S.V., 06 August 2016.