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Developer’s ‘poor arguments’

'Shockingly poor arguments' lie behind plan to demolish a Conservation Area house in Stowmarket

enlarged photo - poor quality

A plan to demolish a nineteenth century building in Stowmarket's historic Conservation Area has been strongly criticised by the Society.

The building is 127 Ipswich Road, part of an area being redeveloped for The Mix youth centre project at a cost of £5 million. Originally the developers accepted that the red-brick Victorian house should stay as it lies inside a Conservation Area. They now claim that structural problems mean it will cost more money to redevelop.

'Just because a developer says their costs have risen is not a reason to throw away our heritage,' said James Hughes, Conservation Adviser. 'Any householder knows that building costs may rise - it's why sensible people keep money for contingencies. If councils give in to this level of argument much of our historic environment would end up being replaced by small cheap blocks of flats or offices, just because they're easier and cheaper to build.'

James added, 'The developer seems to think that because a house isn't listed, this makes it all right to demolish. They couldn't be more wrong. Stowmarket's Conservation Area is there to protect the town centre's Victorian character. If you start demolishing characterful, unlisted red-brick Victorian houses and replacing them with bland modern constructions, Stowmarket would be a lot less interesting. We strongly challenge the idea that demolition is the answer to the developer's cost issues.'

The Society has written to Mid Suffolk District Council.

Wednesday 19 September, 2012

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