Listed Building UK News Update
Plans to convert three Grade 2 listed buildings in Southampton has received controversial planning permission despite the worries of many local people. Residents were joined by local MP John Denham in objecting to plans for the New College site which was owned by Southampton University who have disposed of a the buildings for an amount in the region of 20 million pounds. With the focus very much on conservation at the present moment, this decision could allow Linden home to demolish a former convent, swimming pool and student accommodation and construct in their place a block of 200 flats, 19 town houses and a 69 unit sheltered accommodation.
To their credit,the firm are seeking a compromise by retaining the gate lodge, library and a chapel that dates back to 1904. Southampton City Council planning department voted unanimously in favour of the first set of plans which outline development in the southeast corner of the location. This will include converting three Grade 2 listed buildings on Rockstone Place in to ten self contained flats and two three storey houses. In total, the new college site is 8.3 acres in size and there are plans to develop it in it's entirety to provide many new homes.
Meanwhile historic Sion Mills Stables in Strabane is set to be purchased for the princely sum of £1.00 when the government manages to obtain the grant of a compulsory purchase order. This action is being taken by the government in attempt to save the block from total ruin. The state of dilapidation is quite severe and work has been ongoing for many years to acquire the site for a buildings preservation trust to ensure their safekeeping. As soon as the transfer is completed emergency restoration work will start, although it is not anticipated these buildings will ever be used as stables again, it is anticipated, that the facade can be preserved and the interior put to good use, possibly and an office block or restaurant or other such establishment that will serve the local community and help provide a boost to the local economy..
In Bedfordshire, plans to build over 400 new homes on land behind the Cardington airship sheds are due to be put to council bosses in the next few days. The airship shed are listed buildings and are generally in a poor condition, as a spin off from these plans, the developers are promising 6 million pounds of refurbishment works to insure the buildings are saved and can then be possibly put to light industrial use. For almost 80 years, these listed buildings have dominated the skyline near Bedford. Since 1918 airships were built and maintained at Cardington Airfield and these sheds have been a home to both the R100 and R101. During the second world war the sheds were used to house barrage balloons. It is hoped that the developers investment money will insure these wonderful buildings will be preserved for future generations to marvel at.
Finally in this update, a new housing scheme in Wales will see a Grade 2 listed hospital be demolished to make way for 200 new homes. The former hospital in Denbigh has been unoccupied since 1995 has fallen in to a state of disrepair, it has frequently been attached by vandals. It is hoped that the Victorian parts of the building can be saved and restored with the more recent additions demolished to make way for new buildings. It is thought that these later additions are out of keeping with the original structure and best use will be made of it by partial demolition of the site.