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Historic Triangle

Project now complete

The works described were carried out mainly in March, April and May 2007 with final completion through June and July.


If you’ve never heard of Bollington’s Historic Triangle don’t worry! It’s the term recently applied to three streets that are the subject of a Conservation Area improvement project which has attracted a significant sum in grants.

The three streets are Water Street, High Street from its junction with Fern Bank Rise to Palmerston Street, and Palmerston Street from the entrance to Tullis Russell down to the canal aqueduct. These streets are all in the Bollington Conservation Area.

The plan

Sophie Brown, MBC landscape architect, drew up a plan showing the features of the streets that could be improved to enhance the conservation area.


It was recognised that there was a need to better define the heritage areas by ensuring that one could see that one was entering the area. This was done by establishing gateways. The most obvious way in which this can be done is by road surface treatment such as colouring. Three gateways were implemented – near the aqueduct, which itself provides a very obvious gateway between West Bollington and the old town, on Palmerston Street just above the junction with High Street, and in High Street just below Fern Bank Rise.


There were actually two projects, from the funding point of view. The total sum involved on the Historic Triangle itself was £133,000 made up of £50,000 each from Macclesfield Borough Council and Cheshire County Council and £33,000 from the ReVitalise Fund of the North West Development Agency (NWDA). The Borough Council offered its contribution following publication of the Bollington Parish Plan and the County Council Highways Department then agreed to seek funding to match this from the South East Manchester Multi Modal Study (SEMMMS) pocket. Bollington Town Council decided that the priority should be upgrading of the conservation area including High Street and Water Street. The NWDA money was obtained through a bid by the Parish Plan Implementation Group to complete the third leg of the triangle by improvements to Palmerston Street, and that money has to be spent on Palmerston Street.

The second project is concerned with improvements to signs, litter bins and a tourist map with a total budget of £24,100, of which £10,000 comes from a contribution by Cheshire County Council towards implementation of the Parish Plan, £10,000 from the NWDA ReVitalise Fund and the remainder from contributions from the Borough and County Councils. The total for both projects is £157,100.

Project team

A project team consisting of the Highways Committee of Bollington Town Council (BTC), the Parish Plan Implementation Group, who were responsible for putting together the bids to NWDA, and the Civic Society (BCS) supported by planning, conservation and highway officers from Cheshire County Council (CCC) and Macclesfield Borough Council (MBC) met regularly from the start of 2006 to draw together the financial and practical possibilities. The team walked the streets in February to identify the problems, the possibilities and the opportunities. They got a feel for the area and recognised its importance in the Conservation Area (CA). The team was joined by Peter Neville, who lived in High Street, as a residents’ representative.

Peter Yates, MBC Chief Planning Officer, chaired the inaugural meeting of the project in January 2006 and expressed his full support. He enhanced this support by providing, outside the project budget, the services of his conservation landscape architect, Sophie Brown, to draw up a proposal for the enhancement scheme. Her proposals were discussed at a meeting on 26 July 2006.

Water Street

The most important improvement was resurfacing of the entire street. Other features included:

  • Changes to prevent parking on and improving the sightliness of the small triangle of steep and sloping ground outside 24 Water Street. Unfortunately folk are still parking on this area;
  • Enhancing the entry to Foundry Street and John Street by the use of setts, and surfacing materials;
  • Soften the junction with High Street to highlight the architecture of adjacent buildings, perhaps with changes of road and pavement surfaces;
  • Surface the gullies with three lines of setts (part of the street only);
  • Replace the hotch potch of lamp standards with a single type of heritage standard;
  • Only use yellow lines where they absolutely have to be used and then in the narrow primrose format.
Junction with Foundry Street

Items that were considered but didn’t make it into the final implementation:

  • Enhancement to the river view and the River Dean bridge area at the junction with Hazelhurst Drive;
  • Improved planting of the green space to the left of Hazelhurst Drive;
  • Refurbishment of the stone wall to the left of Hazelhurst Drive and the small piece of land above it to provide a ‘pocket park’;
  • Enhance the iron fencing round the Water Street Centre and the gateway.

High Street

  • Create a gateway (see above) just below the junction with Fern Bank Rise;
  • Remodel the paving outside 63 High Street on the corner with Water Street to better incorporate the well worn step [the step was removed to improve safety];
  • Improve the setts in front of the Queen’s Arms inn;
  • Enhancing the entry to Oldham Street and Store Street by the use of setts and coloured surfacing materials;
  • Surface the gullies with three lines of setts;
  • Replace the hotch potch of lamp standards with a single type of heritage standard;
  • Enhance and highlight the heritage at the entry to Mill Cottages and Watson’s Yard;
  • Only use yellow lines where they absolutely have to be used and then in the narrow format and primrose colour.

Item that was considered but didn’t make it into the final implementation:

  • Consider with the residents’ improvements to the Green. This is the most important heritage feature in the street and requires very sensitive attention.

Palmerston Street

  • Improve the clutter around the post box and telephone kiosk [later removed] at the entry to Pool Bank car park;
  • Enhancing the entry to Pool Bank by the use of setts and coloured surfacing materials;
  • Replace the original modernist lighting poles which were out of keeping with the needs of the conservation area;
  • A suitable form of Christmas lights;
  • Enhance the river views at Bridge End (river bed cleared as part of another project);
  • Improve the pavement between Bridge End and the Memorial Gardens;
  • Ensure that the Memorial Gardens provide the most attractive and enjoyable prospect (normal scheduled garden maintenance, not funded by this project);
  • A better layout of the roadway at the junction of Clarence Road, Palmerston Street and Water Street. It was previously a large space of tarmac, much of which was not required for normal traffic flow. Partly resolved by sett infill on Memorial Gardens corner;
  • Provide a conservation area ‘gateway’ near the aqueduct – actually installed near the bus shelter.
Junction with Pool Bank car park

Items that were considered but didn’t make it into the final implementation:

  • Change the CCC standard bus shelter outside 54 Palmerston Street for something more appropriate in the conservation area;
  • Better use the area of roadway at the junction of Beeston Brow, Queen Street and Palmerston Street.

It is pleasing that one of the most unsightly items in the original plan has been implemented in a much better way than proposed. Every drop-kerb crossing is required to have a tactile surface and this is usually provided by brightly contrasting coloured tiles with bobbles on them entirely out of keeping with the conservation area. Instead a satisfactory result has been obtained by the use of suitably coloured surfacing with studs set in the surface at the crossing point.