Campaigners press on despite blow in bid to list John Nield conservatory

THE Save Stamford Park Greenhouse Group is appealing after Historic England rejected its bid to list the John Nield Conservatory.

The conservatory is set to be demolished

Group chairman Matthew Clarke has not given up hope of persuading Historic England of doing an about turn.

He said: “We were rejected because of the way the conservatory was restored in the 1980s.

“One of the reasons was the way it wasn’t restored correctly using the correct materials, which is why it has been rejected.

“We are appealing and putting forward reasons why we wanted it listing.”

It is a blow because Historic England status would have made it easier to secure funds for the restoration which is likely to be a six-figure sum.

Matthew remained upbeat, explaining: “This is a setback but we are still looking at funding from other sources.

“We have compiled a big list of providers for funding and are currently working our way through it.”

The group has received a boost after Tameside Council’s executive leader Councillor Brenda Warrington has agreed to meet them in the New year.

Cllr Warrington had previously rejected approaches to meet the group until it was a formally constituted body.

Matthew said: “It is a positive step that we will be able to sit down in front of Cllr Warrington to discuss our plans.

“We are busy building a business plan which we hope to be able to present to her.

“There are lots of things going on in the background which people aren’t seeing.”

Cllr Warrington would have met the group earlier had it not been for the forthcoming general election.

The group is raising funds through the proceeds of a special Christmas card of the conservatory which has been hand drawn by local artist Stuart Vallantine.

The Save Stamford Park Greenhouse Group was formed in the summer after Tameside Council announced plans to demolish the decaying conservatory.

The conservatory was originally opened in 1907 by Mr Nield, a former justice of the peace.

It has been shut to the public since 2015 with signs posted outside stating ‘closed for roof repairs’.

They were never carried out and this summer Tameside Council’s executive cabinet accepted a report from officers which recommended its demolition and replaced by a community garden at a cost of £50,000.

The decision was met by fury with the community group set up and a petition contained more than 4,000 signatures compiled.

Since Historic England’s involvement – they visited the conservatory on August 9 to assess it for listed status – the conservatory received a six month stay of execution.

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