VOTE: Green space threat

Residents of a house in Chichester have said its demolition will take away a unique piece of architecture and a valuable green space from the city.

Zoe Shardlow and Graeme Moir, who live in a 1930s colonial-style bungalow in Litten Gardens, have lived there for three years but at Easter, bulldozers will move in to demolish it. Starting at Easter, developers Seaward will then build four three-bedroom townhouses and two three-bedroom bungalows, given permission in 2008.

This week the house, which was previously hidden from view by trees, was exposed after tree surgeons started felling trees in preparation for the work. Miss Shardlow said it was a shame the house was being knocked down because it would take away yet another of the city’s green areas.

“It’s not just the house but the garden as well that is being lost, all the bird life and wildlife like slow worms. They go to the other gardens here but this is the largest one and a central point and that is being lost.

“There is something about beauty that has so much value, and that is nothing to do with how much you pay for it, beauty is worth keeping for its own sake. Everyone who comes round is absolutely blown away by it. It has so many original features including limed fireplaces which someone told me they stopped doing in the 1860s. It is just a little piece of fabric of the city that is being lost and it’s just a little piece too far.”

Mr Moir said: “Looking at the architecture around Chichester I have to say I don’t think I have ever seen any other building like it. I just think it is a real shame that nothing was done to save it. Now people can see it from the road and think it’s a building which has just sprung up, but it’s been a hidden gem.

“I sometimes feel it is a shame some buildings are going to disappear forever. When we first moved in we looked at the 1901 census and found a hat-maker from North Street lived here and there was a lot of history about it.

Mr Moir and Miss Shardlow said the garden, thought to have once been a part of an extensive orchard, was a mini nature reserve and urged people to take a good look at the house before it disappeared.