Friday, 30 September 2016

End Of An Era

The last two Edwardian Villa's from the set which used to dominate the South Western side of central Road have now, as of two weeks ago become a pile of rubble.

The semi-detached pair which housed Vivash Hunt solicitors until late 2015 has been set for demolition for a while. Plans to build a modern block of flats completely out of keeping with the local character were opposed by local residents after a campaign by local resident Richard Johnson (yes that's a whole lot of local) to keep the villas intact, and perhaps use them for a well needed doctor's surgery in the area - which the building was used for prior to being a solicitors' office.

Despite the objections, the council planning committee back in March approved the redevelopment by 5 votes to 4. You can see details of the planning meeting here. The blog is sorry to note that one of the 5 councillors who voted for the application is one of our local councillors - who's area of responsibility actually contains the demolished villas and many of the local residents nearby. I would have hoped our local councillors at least would share a stronger sense of local character and the importance of connections to local history.

We can now look forward to "four storey building comprising seven 2-bedroomed self-contained flats and one retail unit" that will look like this. As Mrs WP said a moment ago when she saw the picture - "Yuk!".