The Widening of Fore Street
A better Fore Street
In January1958 a plan was put before Saltash Borough Council to redevelop the north side of Fore St from the junction with North Rd to the turning for the Working Man’s Club.
The plan would involve the demolition of a number of buildings and the clearance of bomb damaged sites. The plan also involved the widening of Fore St to accommodate a 60ft road.
RE-DEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR ROAD 60ft. WIDE
Proposals before Town Council
The Borough Council will very shortly be considering in detail the reconstruction scheme briefly mentioned at last week's meeting of the council and reported in this newspaper.
The principal details of the plan concerning which the council will, next month, be asked to make a decision, were outlined last week in our report of a joint statement issued to the council by the town clerk. Mr A. Gordon Bellingham, and the borough surveyor, Col. A. de Barr.
It was shown that the main proposal. which the council is recommended to adopt, is for the town to purchase a 370ft. stretch of the north side of Fore Street, from the junction of North Road to the new Working Men's Club; and to have business premises newly erected beside a road 60ft. wide with 15ft. pavements.
At present the stretch of Fore Street included in the first part of this proposal varies in Width from 32ft. to 26f t. with a carriageway varying from only 16ft. to l9ft.
Double Road Width
So in effect the scheme would more than double the width of the road and would dispense, for the section concerned, with the old problem of traffic congestion, removing at the same time a number of unsightly bomb sites and derelict and semi-derelict buildings.
The ultimate plan is to continue the 60 ft. wide road through the complete stretch of the shopping centre from North Road junction to Victoria Gardens. The first phase would deal with just over a third of the length of the main shopping centre.
As can be seen from the plan of the proposed project, specially prepared for the "Guardian and Gazette," the redevelopment would all take place on the north side of Fore Street, buildings on the south side remaining unaltered.
There has been a good deal of rebuilding since the war on the south side, but only one new building has been erected on the north side. That is the Regal Cinema near the top of the town, which conforms to the line of the road's 60ft. width.
Millbay Laundry and Dry Cleaning Company had a branch shop in the lower section which would have been affected by the redevelopment project now being considered. This building was demolished nearly two years ago and a licence for rebuilding has recently been promised.
These two buildings—one built, and one proposed, are the only efforts so far made by private owners to rebuild on the north side of the street to the new line
The section of Fore St ’to the left of the road’ that is to be demolished.
Number of Buildings
Exactly how many business premises would, or could, be provided after demolition of the existing buildings is not known. The number would depend largely upon the size of business premises to be erected by applicants for sites and upon the total number of applicants.
One thing that would be ensured, however, is that all new business premises erected in the affected section would be of a fairly uniform pattern. Planners would ensure that harmony though not exact duplication existed between new shops erected.
Most of the new premises to be erected would possibly have living accommodation overhead in the form of flats or maisonettes.
If the Borough Council agrees to go ahead with the scheme the town would seek to purchase all property concerned and offer sites on 99-year leases, giving priority to existing owners.
There would be little or no interference with trade, for existing buildings would be progressively demolished, as their present occupiers rehoused themselves in new buildings on adjacent or nearby sites. Bomb sites would be used for the first new buildings.
One slight set-back the Borough Council has to face is that although the County Council has accepted the proposals in principle the area has not been designated for compulsory acquisition under the county plan applicable to Saltash for the next five years.
The town clerk, Mr. Bellingham, explains, however, that if the Borough Council decides to press for redevelopment as proposed, a demand could be put forward for such designation when an inspector of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government heard any local objections to the project.
It is not yet known whether any objections will be made, nor is it known whether there will be sufficient demand for all sites which would become available. Government grants of up to 90 per cent of the annual losses incurred by the local authority would, however, remove any risk of the scheme becoming an unduly heavy burden on local rates.
Businesses which would be affected by an acceptance of the scheme, and those in the section which have been already demolished are numbered in the illustration.
1 The site of the demolished grocery business of H. Simons, recently purchased by the Borough Council at a cost of £250;
2 Existing confectionery, sweets and tobacco business of C. W. Clarke (Saltash), Ltd., which was temporarily restored
from a blitzed state after the war;
3 Hardware shop of Messrs. Rounsefell Bros, owned by Mrs. V. E. Davis:
4 A cleared site. The bottom section was occupied by Millbay Laundry, Ltd., the centre section by a cottage and the top
section by a butchery business of Mr. C. Vosper. The site of the cottage and - butchery business is now owned by East
Cornwall Co-operative Society.
5 Confectionery shop and café of C. W. Clarke (Saltash), Ltd.;
6 The former Saltash Working Men's Club, now in a derelict state and used as a store, owned by Mr. Powell Thomas;
7 Branch of Eastmans Butchers, Ltd.;
8 A cleared site formerly occupied by Mr. F. J. Quick's photographic shop, a private house, drapery shop of Messrs.Dingle and Co., and stationery shop of Messrs. Dingle and Co.;
9 Temporary newsagents' shop of Messrs. Dingle and Co.;
10 Saltash Post Office;
11 Entrance to Saltash Working Men's Club.
The illustration also gives an indication of lines of redevelopment proposed in the county plan for Saltash which would not be introduced in the first phase scheme now under consideration. It shows, for instance, the line of a proposed widening of Culver Road just below the Commercial Hotel and gives an idea of the long term plan for widening of North Road.
The North Road hairdressing salon of Mr. J. F. Howarth. shown in the illustration as the first building on the west of the road, would not be affected by the project under consideration.
The overall cost of the scheme was expected to be £31,500 with the annual rent for a shop and overhead accommodation around £580.
Although intended for local traders Mr de Barr pointed out that it was the duty of the Council not to restrict any type of person or concern. They must obtain the best return for their money. If this meant bringing in new concerns that should be done.
It would seem that Mr de Barr got his way; some local businesses did take properties but so did British Gas, Gribble Booth & Taylor, Barclays Bank, TSB Bank the Bristol & West Building Society and Food Fayre.