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Stamford Park Conservatory: Bid to halt demolition work fails

Stamford Park Conservatory Image copyright David Dixon/Geograph
Image caption Stamford Park Conservatory has been closed for four years

A final attempt the halt the planned demolition of a century-old park conservatory has failed.

Tameside Council has decided it can no longer afford to maintain the Stamford Park Conservatory in Stalybridge, which has stood empty for four years.

Demolition is due on 2 September but a petition of more than 4,000 people is calling for the place to be preserved as part of the town's heritage.

A bid by opposition councillors to delay the demolition has floundered.

The ruling Labour group said the work will go ahead, although parts of the glasshouse will be incorporated into the park to preserve them.

Conservative Councillor Doreen Dickinson had called for more time to investigate whether the structure can be run by the community at a council meeting on Tuesday, the Local Democracy Reporting Service wrote.

The conservatory, which used to house subtropical plants such as palm trees and bananas, was a gift to the community in 1907 from John Nield.

It was rebuilt in 1985 and refurbished in 2003, and campaigners say it remains a popular local landmark and beauty spot.

Ms Dickinson said the delay would have given campaigners time to get organised, get charitable status and see if there was any "funding out there to do something".

But the council voted instead for a last minute amendment proposing that parts of the structure could be "salvaged for future incorporation into the park".

Councillor Ryan said rare plants no longer grew in the conservatory, which was not part of the "historically significant features' identified for improvement by a £3.9m Heritage Lottery fund grant in 2009.

He added no date had been fixed for the demolition work.

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