Thursday, 27 October 2011

News - Plea to protect cottage (Bingham)

A man who spent part of his youth living in one of Bingham’s historic houses has appealed for it to be saved from demolition.

Mr Jim Campbell, 42, of Walkers Close, lived at Close Acre, Newgate Street, with his parents, the late Mr and Mrs David Campbell.

The 230-year-old building, in a conservation area, is set to be demolished to make way for a health centre.

Mr Campbell said no proper case had been made for the demolition of the building, which consists of three cottages joined together.

“It was my family home and I have some affection for it. I know my mother would not have sold it if she had known it was going to be demolished,” he said.

The house has many original features, including the fireplace and wooden beams. It also has a stable and a warehouse.

An extension was added at the rear in the 1950s by Captain Patrick Vaulkhard, a professional cricketer.

Mr Campbell said the property had a large garden that could be used for the health centre without destroying the house.

“Clearly the town needs a new health centre, and if you ask people if they want it then the answer is yes,” he said.

“However, if you ask them if they want it at the expense of a historic building then they are not so sure.

“The case for the health centre is unarguable, but that is not the same case as the one for knocking down the cottage.

“If someone said to me there is no other option then I would, with great regret, say fair enough, but I don’t think that case has been made.”

Mr Campbell was concerned that the town did not sacrifice all its character.

“Once it is gone, it is gone,” he said.“There are so many things going on, like Tesco and The Crown Estate proposals, that will change the character of the town, so it seems an odd decision to make to knock down a historic building.”

Mr Tim Bradford, director of Banks Long and Co, development consultant for the health centre project, said justification for demolition was comprehensively covered in the planning statement submitted to Rushcliffe Borough Council.

It said the cottage was not listed and had been unsympathetically altered. It says retention was considered but the buildings were found to be unsuitable for refurbishment or reuse.

It says: “To keep them would seriously compromise the quality of the services on offer and changes to their fabric so dramatic that the remaining historical asset would, in effect, be destroyed.”

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