Dozens of Observer readers back city councillor's calls to save an historic building

An application has been approvedto demolish the Arts and Crafts House at 21 Lavant Road, to replace it with a block of eight flats with parking. Picture by Kate Shemilt. ks180447-3
An application has been approvedto demolish the Arts and Crafts House at 21 Lavant Road, to replace it with a block of eight flats with parking. Picture by Kate Shemilt. ks180447-3

A city councillor's concerns regarding the potential loss of an historic property in Chichester have been backed by a number of Observer readers.

An application (18/00769/FUL) has been approved to demolish the Arts and Crafts House at 21 Lavant Road, to replace it with a block of eight flats with parking.

Speaking at a city council meeting on Wednesday September 5, councillor Peter Evans expressed his concern with the way the city is being changed to 'its detriment'.

He said he regrets the impending loss of a 'lovely building' and stressed that Chichester needs buildings that are 'historically attractive'.

Numerous Observer readers have since reiterated these claims, with many saying it sets a 'dangerous precedent' for the city which is 'on a self destructive path'.

Commenting on the Chichester Observer Facebook page, Alan Hogben said that once the works are approved and finished, it will be 'almost impossible not to grant permission for more'.

Councillor Peter Evans has recently expressed his concern with the way the city is being changed to 'its detriment'.Picture by Kate Shemilt. ks180447-1

Councillor Peter Evans has recently expressed his concern with the way the city is being changed to 'its detriment'.Picture by Kate Shemilt. ks180447-1

In support of this, Jez Madden said: "I think this is the first of a row of Arts & Crafts houses to be demolished.

"This will set a dangerous precedent and before long the northern entrance to Chichester will look like a row of anonymous Travelodges."

Amanda Walker, who wrote that she is 'sad for the future', agreed that this could be the 'first of many to disappear'.

She added: "The people slowly destroying the local area and the surrounding views are showing they don’t care about this as they probably don’t even live in this area, have no history connection and basically don’t give a second thought to the people that do."

Barbara Batten reiterated the importance of protecting historic properties.

She said: "Chichester is on a self destructive path. It used to be a beautiful market town."

Stephen Holman questioned why the decision wasn't taken to the vote of residents, who live in the area.

He asked: "Why not go door knocking and see how many people want another block of flats built? Not a lot will be the answer!"

Dulcie Levett said that it is 'so very sad' that these properties with 'character' are being replaced by 'featureless monstrosities', whilst Wendi Down said that too much of the city has already been 'built on and ripped apart'.

However, Jo Tibballs argued: "It's not historic. It's mock Tudor. Go to Surrey and you'll see thousands of these properties that look exactly the same. Or pop over to Worthing."

Despite mayor Martyn Bell believing the final decision had yet to be made on the amended plans, the district council has confirmed the demolition will go ahead.

A district council spokesman said: "The application was approved on the 31 August 2018, following a period of consultation on the amended plans. The city council raised no objection to the amended plans at their meeting on August 8.

"As there was no city council objection, and no councillor has used the ‘red card’ procedure, the application was determined under delegated authority."

See our original story here.

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