Jonathan Schofield celebrates the wrecking ball after neglect by London company Mastcraft has led on press enquiries about this for a year or two. Charlton House has been a derelict lump of a 1970s office block for years as we described here in July 2022. 

That would be bad anywhere but somehow felt worse just where tens of thousands of fans cross Chester Road close to Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium. In the other direction Charlton House is a three-minute walk from Lancashire County Cricket Club’s home and a two minute walk from Trafford Town Hall. 

At last he’s had his hand forced and the damned eyesore that is Charlton House is being demolished

The property is owned by London-based Mastcraft Limited. This company owns lots and lots of hotels and ‘is led by Indian multimillionaire Joginder Sanger’. Sanger has fingers in pies in more than thirty firms, according to Companies House, mostly as director. 

Back in 2022 we contacted Mastcraft about Charlton House but they said they couldn't talk about the situation as there were ongoing proceedings with Trafford Council. 

Mastcraft and Sanger are no strangers to being in the news. In 2012 the London Evening Standard revealed many of the Mastcraft Hotels were being used to house asylum seekers including the rundown Thorncliffe Hotel in west London. The Evening Standard investigation into child trafficking 'revealed the owners of the Thornecliffe Hotel were paid an astonishing £4 million of taxpayers' money (in 2011) to house asylum seekers at their bleak 400-room establishment.'

Despite his wealth Sanger has not given a damn about his Manchester site at Old Trafford for years. He clearly likes things to be rundown. Now at last he’s had his hand forced and the damned eyesore that is Charlton House is being demolished. 

This came from Trafford Council today. 

‘The Council took the owners of Charlton House, on Chester Road in Old Trafford, to court after they failed to take any action over the crumbling building next to Trafford Town Hall. 

‘In 2020, the Council issued Mastcraft Limited with a notice under Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act requiring them to either repair or demolish the building. The company was fined twice and with the prospect of a third prosecution looming they took the decision hire a firm to demolish Charlton House. 

‘The demolition is expected to be completed within the next few weeks and the site will be brought forward for redevelopment as a key site within Trafford Council’s Civic Quarter Area Plan. 

‘Last February, the Executive approved plans by the Council to tackle unsafe, unfinished and empty developments in the borough through enforcement action.

‘Cllr Liz Patel, Trafford Council’s Executive Member for Economy and Regeneration, said: “The fact that Charlton House is finally being demolished is great news and I thank all our officers for their hard work in achieving this result. This building is in a key position within Trafford – next to the Town Hall and both Old Trafford stadiums - but has been left standing in a disgraceful state for many years. 

‘“We will not stand by and allow buildings to be left in this condition in our borough. The Council will continue to take court action against those owners who fail to ensure their buildings are safe and in good condition. I now look forward to the redevelopment of the site as part of the Civic Quarter Area Action Plan.”’ 

2024 01 25 Charlton On The Pub
Charlton House was named for Bobby Charlton whose mural on the Trafford pub next door: he's the one on the left Image: Confidentials

Charlton House was named for Bobby Charlton whose mural sits on the Trafford pub next door. In the image above he's the one on the left. 

Of course, naughty Mastcraft can still sit on this strategically important site. The good news is the disgraceful eyesore that is Charlton House won’t drag the eyes of guests from all over world to its wrecked state and make them wonder about the UK's careless custodianship of its urban scene. 

Well done to Trafford Council for making this happen, although one has to wonder about how long it took to overcome all the shoddy delaying tactics of Mastcraft and their multi-millionaire owners.  

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