‘When it’s gone, it’s gone’
A Westminster council plan to replace a Victorian school with a 'weak and dull' shoebox of similar proportions has been condemned by the Society
Amberley Road School has stood near the Harrow Road since the 1880s. Now Westminster Council want to knock it down to make space for a new school and flats.
According to James Hughes, Conservation Adviser at the Victorian Society, this is a double waste. 'The Victorian school takes up one side of the street; a fine row of Victorian terraced houses lines the other. It's a Victorian street, through and through. Replacing one half with a bland modern box will cost not only the school but the character of the area.'
New building, dotted line shows outline of old
James added, 'What makes it worse is that Westminster Council could have their new school and the flats, while retaining the old building. There's space enough to do it. Westminster doesn't have to destroy its own heritage.'
The reason why
Why is Westminster doing this? James explains, 'Lack of imagination, short-term thinking. The value of the old building as a heritage asset is surely worth some marginal extra cost. Not to mention that re-using it is a more sustainable approach, something Westminster should be striving for.'
'They should remember: once it's gone, it's gone. There will come a time when people look back and regret this kind of short-sighted development.'
The Victorian Society has written to Westminster Council to persuade it to take a responsible and sustainable approach to its heritage.
Wednesday 19 September, 2012