Bollington Civic Society - home page!   
> Happy Valley home > Civic Society home
Civic Society joins Civic Voice!


  Parliamentary Group

Meetings | Projects

Cumberland Drive / High Street development

Waggon & Horses / Bay Leaf re-development

Hurst Lane wharf re-development

Waterhouse mill site re-development

Lowerhouse housing development

Hall Hill fields On Watch!

See our wide variety of activities!

Forthcoming events - please join us, everyone very welcome!

Next meeting ...

Monday 20th November 2017

AGM followed by
Bollington Matters!

All meetings now start at 7.30pm!

All winter meetings are held in the Community Centre, Ovenhouse Lane, Bollington at 7.30pm.

Everyone is welcome to all our meetings - a small contribution is asked of non-members.

Finding it - Ovenhouse Lane is off Henshall Road and the Community Centre is the last building on the left at the far end. Plenty of parking. The Community Centre is almost next door to the Leisure Centre. Map.

We provide an interesting line up of meetings for you to participate in and enjoy!

Everyone is welcome to attend Civic Society meetings including non-members who will be asked to make a small voluntary contribution. This is redeemable against a subscription if you join on the night.

All members with email addresses are sent a reminder a few days before each meeting. If you would also like a reminder please send an email now and we will send you a memory jogger too.

The Society holds monthly meetings from September to May (but not in December) each year to provide maximum opportunities to discuss matters of direct concern to Bollington. If there is a particular subject you would like considered at a future meeting then please email the committee.

Meetings in 2017:

Monday 20th November

AGM followed by ...
Bollington Matters!

December 2017

No evening meeting in December!

Bollington Civic Society meets indoors from September to May (but not December) each year. All our meetings are open to non-members. Additional meetings, usually outdoor, are arranged for summer evenings and weekends.

Civic Society aims

Bollington is an historic place with a great history directly linked to the industrial revolution. It contains countless buildings and features of historical importance, some nationally important many locally important, and others just interesting! And all this is located in an area of outstanding beauty with great accessibility for those who want to explore the area.

Bollington Civic Society is here to ensure that these assets are looked after and preserved for us and future generations. Our key aims are:

  • To promote high standards of planning and design;
  • To educate the public in the geography, history, natural history and architecture of Bollington;
  • To secure the preservation, protection, development and improvement of features of historic and public interest.

Officers and Committee

Chairperson: Ken Edwards (email)
Joint Secretary: Chris Kettlety (email)
Joint Secretary: Chris Brear
Treasurer: Barry Matthews
Committee: Ted Clunn, Philip Warburton, Allan Wilson

A sub-committee chaired by Chris Kettlety is responsible to the main committee for the management of the  Discovery Centre .

Follow us on Facebook:

Bollington Civic Society
Bollington Discovery Centre

Civic Society activities

Your Civic Society is, or has been, involved in a number of important aspects of Bollington life:

Neighborhood Plan

The Civic Society supported the development of the two Town Plans in 2004 and 2008. The government have now brought in a scheme to get every neighborhood to develop its own local plan and Bollington is doing this by developing a Neighborhood Plan according to the government's guidance. This activity has by law to be carried out independently of the Town Council (though individual councillors may still contribute) and the Civic Society is a participant to the project. Public consultations will take place as part of the development procedure and the finished plan has to be put to the community in a referendum before it can be accepted by the borough council, after which it becomes a legally binding part of the borough plan.

Lowerhouse conservation area

After years of failed attempts to get the Lowerhouse area defined as a Conservation Area, we are now trying to get the Bollington Cross conservation area extended into Lowerhouse. This approach is meeting with more success, and we hope to get a positive result in 2017.

Lowerhouse development plans

The Civic Society were involved with the opposition to the proposed housing development behind Lowerhouse mill. Please see the page devoted to this.

Waterhouse mill site redevelopment

The Civic Society was commissioned by Bollington Town Council to conduct a public consultation to determine what the community would like to happen to this very large redundant industrial site. Redevelopment as a housing estate will be completed by late 2017. See the page devoted to this.

Cumberland Drive development

We strongly contested the original planning applications and the appeals made by H Cumberbirch & Son Ltd against the rejection of their plans to build on the Red Lion Inn car park at the top of High Street. Happily we won our case and their first appeal was rejected. They subsequently submitted a further application for four three story houses on Cumberland Drive. We contested this at planning committee and won our case again. Unfortunately we lost at the subsequent appeal. See the page on this.

They consulted us about the site opposite the Red Lion. They subsequently submitted an application answering all of our main comments and we decided not to contest it. This was approved. However, the development has been frustrated for several years firstly by the owners inability to find a developer willing the take it on, then by a developer who has gone out of business (2017). We are hoping another developer will take it on and complete the development.

St John's Church

A plan was put to the Church authorities by a local developer, Simply Group, and they agreed to sell on that basis. The Civic Society was concerned on a number of matters but since seeing the full plans and heard the developers intentions we withdrew our objections. The full plans were approved and development is supposed to be going ahead. However, nothing has happened for at least eight years, although the developer continues to assure us that they "... will be starting soon."! A page is devoted to this.

Conservation Areas

We are taking a closer interest in the changes that take place in the four Conservation Areas (CA) in Bollington. These are described in full on separate pages.

We were very pleased that Cllr Ken Edwards (Bollington Town Council) supported the society with the specific responsibility for Conservation Areas. One of his primary interests is in establishing a further CA at Lowerhouse and discussions took place with the old Macclesfield BC, but obtained no support. However, our intentions in this area remain and will be pursued until CEC change their mind. (see above).

We have also discussed with CEC Highways their compliance with Conservation Area guidelines while maintaining our roads.

Development planning (ongoing)

We watch planning applications, discuss them with those having an interest and make representations to Councilors and CEC planners where we wish to challenge proposals. If you are concerned about a proposal and would like to discuss it with the Civic Society please email Vice Chairperson Sandra Edwards who takes a special interest in planning matters for the society.

Bollington Tourism - Destination Bollington!

There were concerns that tourism was not developing sufficiently well but that is now changing with the development outside the Civic Society (although members are involved) of the Destination Bollington project! Have a look at the page.

Clarence footbridge over the canal

The Civic Society, represented by Graham Barrow, were at the forefront of the campaign to construct the new footbridge over the canal at Clarence mill to enable canal users on the towpath to access the mill, its businesses and facilities, particularly the Café Waterside and our own  Discovery Centre , and to enable those who live in and around the mill to access the towpath and the Recreation Ground for their recreational purposes. To break an impasse we even agreed to own the finished structure! The opening of the bridge at the end of August 2009 has resulted in very significant increases in the numbers of visitors to both the café and the  Discovery Centre .

The Discovery Centre Project

We developed a  Discovery Centre  at Clarence Mill which opened on 14th May 2005. It is on the canal side at Clarence mill by the great generosity of the owners Clarence Mill Properties Ltd. We obtained grants for its development from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Cheshire Rural Recovery, Macclesfield Borough Council, Bollington Town Council and other private donors. It provides information and exhibitions designed to show the past, present and future of Bollington, its industries and its people. The  Discovery Centre  is maintained and manned during opening hours by volunteers. We are always looking for volunteers!

Old Bollington with White Nancy in the backgroundHistory and heritage (ongoing)

A group of historians and their helpers have assembled a very large collection of photographs showing Bollington and its population through the past 100+ years - our oldest picture dates from about 1860, before the railway was built! (see next item below). They continue to research the history of the town, its industries and the people who made it what it is today. We have re-published two of the well known books about Bollington and further publications are planned.

Historic Picture Collection

The  Discovery Centre  houses the very popular historic picture collection which contains over 5,000 pictures of Bollington and its people going back well over a century. This project began in the 1980s when the late Dr John Coope MBE urged his patients to get out their old family albums and lend him the pictures for copying. The collection was scanned into digital images as part of the  Discovery Centre  project in 2004/5 and we have been cataloguing the collection ever since (completed early 2017) in order to make all the pictures available to the public in a structured manner.

We continue to collect pictures and documents to be added to the collection. The database went online in 2009 and can be accessed at link .

Bollington Carbon Revolution project

This project was established in late 2006 and did much good work over the years. In early 2013 the group decided they should merge with a Macclesfield group 'go-lo' who took over the re-development of the toilet block at the bottom of Shrigley Road, having been able to obtain the resources necessary to carry out the work. Unfortunately the government changed their mind about eco funding and withdrew the monies allocated to this project and so, regrettably, the group has now folded. However the toilet block, renamed Turner Lodge, was completed by Bollington Initiative Trust and is now let to a commercial tenant.

The Kerridge Ridge & Ingersley Vale Countryside & Heritage Project

The Society was involved in the historical survey which formed an early part of this project. More on thisExternal link. We are also acutely interested in what development takes place in the Vale. The KRIV project finished in summer 2010.

Bollington Live!

The Civic Society originally founded Bollington Live! and has remained as a sponsor since it became independent. The village magazine is published three times each year and delivered free to every home. Several of our members are involved in the writing, editing, selling of advertising, and delivery of the magazine.

Future projects

The Civic Society supports a Friends of the Rec project to create a footpath through Swinerood Wood between the canal towpath opposite Clarence Mill and the Recreation Ground.

If you would like to be involved in any of these interests please email the chairman now telling me what you would like to know more about and I will introduce you to the relevant member.

Bollington Civic Society joins Civic Voice!

CV logoBollington Civic Society is a founding member of Civic VoiceExternal link, launched with the support of Restoration presenter Griff Rhys Jones to represent the interests of civic societies across the country to government, national bodies and local councils. This body has been successful in raising the profile of civic societies and the work that these bands of concerned volunteers do, and has gained a position of influence so that the concerns of civic minded groups like ours get a better hearing from government, local councils and authorities in general. Our conservation areas, in particular, are under threat from inappropriate developments, householder 'improvements' and the general clutter of modern life such as too many road signs, yellow lines and so on. We need a national body that can raise awareness where it matters to get more consideration for the community built into public decision making and to raise the public's awareness of what they, the community, are at risk of losing.

Do you have an interest in the past,
present and future of Bollington?

Yes, then it is time you joined us at the Civic Society.

Click this line to send us an email expressing your interest and we will get back to you