Sunday, October 01, 2017

The Garden Street Island, Leicester, is under threat

The Garden Street Island is a block of shops and a cottage on Belgrave Gate in the centre of Leicester. It was due to be pulled down for redevelopment, but after a campaign the city council has served a issue an Article 4 Direction. 
This means that the historic status of the buildings has been acknowledged and planning permission will have to be sought for any alterations.
That is what I blogged in February 2015.

This week the Leicester Mercury reported that planning permission for the demolition of this block is now being sought.

The paper quotes Stuart Bailey, chairman of the city's civic society:
"Garden Street Island stands as a monument to the 1930s slum clearances, 19th Century vernacular architecture, post war city development and to Leicester’s wider rich and diverse social history. 
"There are unique features to these buildings, features which were once common; the loss of them would be much greater than any benefit derived from the proposed development - which has no architectural merit whatsoever. 
"Garden Street Island is comparable with the Birmingham’s listed Back to Backs, which are now in the ownership of the National Trust, and a popular tourist destination."
Given the council's lack of interest in preserving distinctive local buildings, I am not optimist that the Garden Street Island will be saved.

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