Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Rugby Greens slam St Andrew's Church Hall planned development

St Andrew's Church Hall
Letter sent to local papers & Private Eye

Sir,

We are told by the law of the land that a  Conservation Area is declared in order to preserve the character and appearance of an area.
Your readers will be concerned to note that the current planning applications to Rugby Borough Council shown above, for a new Caldecott Square that would back onto our town parish church St Andrews,would achieve just the opposite!
The applicants state that the design has been carefully chosen to fit in, but St Andrews Church House, a handsome (if unexceptional ) 1934 three storey communal building, would be demolished and replaced by a five storey apartment block , of a modernist cuboid design with flat roofs and balconies, much better suited to the Costa Blanca! ( Blocks A and B). 
The applicants argue that is all right because its appearance would be blocked by commercial buildings (the shops) , yet anyone can see that those are only three storeys high. It would also include nil social rented housing so no help for the Housing Waiting List.
Herbert Gray College in Little Elbrow Street, is a rather fine Georgian Listed Building of pre-1849 with an 18th century core, which stands to be disfigured by huge extensions of modernist cuboid glass plate walls with grey cladding panels, which could hardly be less sympathetic to the Georgian /late- Victorian buildings surrounding it.
It is understood that our Conservative-run Borough Council has already approved an earlier application here for a modernist hotel, so the planners feel pushed into accepting this new application as the existing one is even worse ; well, this is hardly an effective policy for preserving a Conservation Area and leads to the tail wagging the dog.
Bats roosting at Herbert Gray College also would not be protected , as the bat survey done is only half complete.
Readers still have a week to raise objections at the Town Hall against this architectural vandalism of our Conservation Area, and the case officer is Mr Holt.
Former users of the Church House may also wish to apply for it to get Community Asset Status which would at least freeze its demolition to see if it can be found a viable use. Anyone wishing to pursue this is invited to contact Rugby Green Party on our website as we have had  recent success in this procedure with the Imperial Hotel in Oxford Street.
At this rate we are going to lose all of Rugby's historical areas bar the School !

Thank you,
Peter Reynolds, Chair - Rugby Green Party

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