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To: Chester Diocesan Board of Education (owner); Stockport Council Planning Committee; Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

Save St. George's Vicarage, Stockport

30/1/17 - We Won!

As of 17:15pm today, Monday 30th January 2017, the online and hard copy petition signatures to save St. George's Vicarage, Stockport totalled 502 - We just received good news that the architect-developers, Purcell, and their client, the Chester Diocesan Board of Education, have withdrawn their demolition application today (as our petition suggested) before Stockport Council could determine the case.

Objections to demolition had been received from Historic England, the Victorian Society and the Ancient Monuments Society, besides, in this petition:

275 concerned Stockport citizens (55% of all petitioners) of whom well over half live near to or regularly pass by the Vicarage site;

47 neighbouring Mancunians;

At least nine eminent architectural historians expert in Victorian and Edwardian architecture;

20 prominent architects and conservation officers;

Numerous members of the Victorian Society nationwide (from Lerwick in the Shetlands to St. Helier in Jersey; and

The Stockport diaspora, including renowned authoress and media star, Baroness Joan Bakewell

The Stockport Heritage and Building Preservation Trusts have just asked Stockport Council to intervene now and call a meeting with the architect-developers and the Diocese to discuss appropriate and sufficient enabling development to repair and restore the Vicarage. Or suffer the service of a Repairs Notice to stem the awful longstanding neglect of the listed building.

1) The Diocese (owner): withdraw the planning application for demolition and commission a refurbishment scheme with sufficient sensitive enabling development to fund restoration

2) Stockport Council (planning authority): refuse Listed Building Consent on the grounds that the 1897 Grade II property is part of the Masterwork of Hubert J. Austin of architects Austin & Paley of Lancaster along with the Grade I church and Grade II School; and can be restored if suitable conversion, extension and supplementary development is arranged on the site.

3) DCLG: in the event that Stockport Council grants Listed Building Consent and its associated planning application for 8 dwellings, that the Secretary of State call in the case for resolution at a local public inquiry

Why is this important?

The former vicarage is of special architectural and historic interest; it contributes to a group of important listed buildings (all by the same designer) at the heart of a conservation area.

Although heavily vandalised (caused by neglect and poor security over many years), the listed building is capable of rehabilitation, adaptation and extension to form multiple dwellings. Lost interior details can by copied from Austin's own 1875 home, The Knoll, in Lancaster.

To pay for the scheme, additional houses can be built in the vicarage gardens in such a way as to open up the views to the west end of the Grade I listed church, save the south lawn, and better use the listed boundary wall and gates.

The counter proposal to demolition is more sustainable, sympathetic to the site and enhances a forlorn and abandoned heritage asset.

How it will be delivered

We have sent periodic drafts of the petition and signature numbers to Stockport Council, its planners and Ward Councillors over the last few days. We shall submit a final copy via email this coming week and alert the press.

Buxton Road, Stockport, Greater Manchester, England SK2 6NU, UK

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL


2020-01-12 19:01:05 +0000

Work has commenced on site. Restoration and enabling development are underway to retain and enhance the Grade II Vicarage and the setting of the Grade I St. George's Church. Many thanks to all who signed this petition.

2018-11-23 00:59:11 +0000

22 November 2018, planning permission and listed building consent was granted by Stockport Council for the scheme to repair and convert the Vicarage to apartments and for an enabling development of additional housing.

2018-08-16 22:03:12 +0100

The new designs have been extensively discussed with Stockport Council's Conservation Officer, and the architects and I have been discussing potential copying of H. J. Austin features from his Lancaster home, The Knoll, for the refitting of the completely burnt out, vandalized interior
I commend the scheme to you and hope you may be interested to look up the scheme or write supportive comments during the planning process. The site has been derelict for too long. And this positive scheme offers best hope for the famous vicarage, and general enhancements to the curtilage of the Grade 1 site as a whole.

2018-08-16 22:01:04 +0100

A new application for planning permission and listed building consent has been submitted to Stockport Council to save St. George's Vicarage. The Grade II building has remained derelict since our campaign to stop demolition was successful.
The new application proposes to save, repair and restore the vicarage exterior, and to pay for all the authentic repairs to it and the listed boundary wall by enabling development - in line with Historic England guidance. The development comprises sensitive subdivision of the Vicarage interior into apartments, an extension of the building to the north, restoration of the vicarage lawn and construction of a small group of semi-detached homes on the south side of the grounds. In the process, new views of the East end of the mighty St. George's Church, a Grade 1 Listed Building, are provided by removal of self-seeded, non-original trees. See

2017-01-31 21:31:52 +0000

500 signatures reached

2017-01-31 10:32:40 +0000

Petition is successful with 490 signatures

2017-01-18 15:38:28 +0000

Stockpory Council will decide this case in the first week of February 2017. We'll submit the petition in time to be considered.

For those overseas that wish to sign the petition, alas, the website software does not allow such entries because it only relies upon British post codes and US and other zip codes are not recognized. Please send your support direct by email to [email protected] to be included.

2017-01-17 19:05:26 +0000

100 signatures reached

2017-01-17 15:42:07 +0000

50 signatures reached

2017-01-17 14:14:12 +0000

25 signatures reached

2017-01-17 11:38:57 +0000

10 signatures reached