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A new lease of life for London’s historic concrete house

Plans to restore the only known Victorian house made largely of concrete have been welcomed by the Victorian Society.

The house at 549 Lordship Lane in East Dulwich has sat empty and neglected for almost thirty years. During that time the owner has lodged five separate applications to demolish the grade II listed property and replace it with modern apartments. All the applications have been rejected by Southwark Council.

Now a building preservation trust has come forward and submitted an application to restore the house, even though it doesn't actually own the property yet.

In February Southwark issued a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) to force the owner, Birballa Chandra to sell the property. That process is still underway, but at the same time the Vivat Trust has submitted an application to restore the house and return it to residential use - this time as five flats.

'This house has suffered terribly from neglect and vandalism. Time and again the owner tried to argue that it was beyond repair and must be pulled down', said Alex Baldwin, Conservation Adviser for the Victorian Society. 'This application proves that it is not too late for this architecturally important house, and that even the most derelict properties can be brought back into use.'

'This is a great example of a council using its powers and working with a voluntary organisation to save an historic building.'

Friday 29 May, 2009

More recent item: The fight begins to prevent demolition of an historic Sussex church
Earlier item: Clitheroe’s historic workhouse saved from demolition

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