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Concern over the demolition of historic Rye building

Plans to demolish part of a listed Victorian School in Rye have been criticised by the Victorian Society.

The owner of Rye's Lion Street Education Centre has applied to knock down the Art Block as part of a proposal to build 3 new houses and 2 new flats on the town centre site.

The Adult Education Centre and Library is an interesting early example of a provincial board school, built soon after the Education Act of 1870, and the art block is an integral part of this, with its steeply pitched roof and large windows. The school was built in 1874 but it's not clear when the art block was added, though it does feature on an 1897 map in Rye library.

'It is wasteful and unsustainable to demolish a structurally sound historic building, particularly one that could be easily adapted to a new use', said Heloise Brown, Conservation Adviser for the Victorian Society. 'Its loss would also be damaging to the listed school building and the surrounding area.'

The planning application currently under consideration dates back to 2004, but the original description of the art block was misleading; initially implying that it was merely a ‘modern extension' and then that it was built in the 20th Century.

The Society is urging Rother District Council not to grant permission for the scheme.


Thursday 16 December, 2010

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