Concerns have been expressed at the potential loss of a ‘beautiful’ and ‘historic’ Chichester property by former mayor Peter Evans.
An application (18/00769/FUL) has been proposed to demolish the Arts and Crafts House at 21 Lavant Road, to replace it with a block of eight flats with parking.
At first, the city council objected to the scheme due to the unsightly garages planned for the front of the building, but it has since been amended and approved without the garage, whilst the number of flats has increased from seven to eight.
Speaking at the city council meeting last Wednesday evening, councillor Evans said: “We are changing Chichester and it is not always to the best.
“What we are removing in 21 Lavant Road is a beautiful property.
“It’s a lovely building and it is going to be demolished. We need buildings that are historically attractive .
“I have no objection to the building replacing it, but it is a shame that such a building is about to be turned into dust.”
Speaking to the Observer, he added that it is vital that Chichester ‘protects our heritage’.
He said: “Chichester is changing to its detriment. These beautiful, historic buildings should be preserved for generations.”
In support of councillor Evans’ comments at the meeting, councillor Anne Scicluna she was ‘very sorry to lose our Art Deco buildings’.
“We have very little left from the 1930s and it is a very bad step I think,” she added.
Councillor Julian Joy stressed the importance of taking it forward to the ‘main council’.
Speaking to the Observer, he added: “It was dealt with my the sub-committee which deals with minor applications.
“It should go to the full committee as I think it is important to highlight the importance of this building as no one is taking any notice.
“If you put more behind it, you can challenge it. It is a very important building from the Art Deco period and we should preserve historic preservation in Chichester.”
Mayor Martyn Bell agreed that the loss would be ‘regrettable’ but the replacement flats are actually ‘quite a good design’.
Following the meeting, he said: “We were not happy with the planned garages in front of the property so they were moved elsewhere and it will now look better from the road.
“It is a very fine family home from the 1930s and we are disappointed about that loss rather than the new flats. “The design is actually quite good but we are losing a fine historic building which we don’t have a lot of.
“We are losing a lot of them.”
Councillor Bell confirmed that a final decision is yet to be made by the district council planning authority.
He added: “The final decision will be made by the planning authority in the next month or so.
“We are one of the main consultees and we express our view but we do not make the final decision.”
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