Fury over plans to build apartments on site of famous Widnes music venue (From Runcorn and Widnes World)
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Famous Widnes landmark set to become housing development
PLANS to create homes on the site of the former Queens Hall in Widnes have incensed residents and community leaders.
Halton Housing Trust wants to build 17 apartments on land in Lacey Street.
Campaigners objecting to the scheme say the area should celebrate the history and heritage of this former music venue.
Residents have fond memories of watching groups such as The Beatles perform on stage.
The building, owned by Halton Council, was bulldozed after lying empty for six years.
The adjacent Queens Hall Studio was saved and is now home to vibrant creative music and arts projects.
Louise Nulty, project manager of Access All Areas at The Studio, said: “We all know there is a great need for affordable housing but we question whether this is the best location.
“This is a very heavily built up area and the residents and ourselves would benefit from a green space, a small oasis, and also an opportunity to remember and celebrate the importance of the Queens Hall as a venue.
“The Queens Hall culture garden could feature public art recalling the greats who played at the venue and environmental and gardening projects to make sure people build relationships in their commuinity and have access to green spaces.”
Noel Sharpe, executive director of customer services, said: “The Trust plans to build 17 new apartments, available for rent, as there is a shortage of affordable housing in the area. We plan to bring new life the former Queens Hall site and taking into consideration local heritage and design, our plans reflect the vibrancy of the area.”