List 117 Ifield Road for local importance

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Leacroft should be saved from destruction and listed for local importance with immediate effect, the owners urged to retain the building for the exclusive use of the local community as a centre to meet and socialise, obtain advice and information such as health, wellbeing, counselling, dementia support.

Leacroft, as its affectionately known (117 Ifield Road, West Green, Crawley) is of local importance because it tells the story of West Green, its community and of the people that live there. Leacroft is a fundamental part of West Green’s identity giving the residents a sense of place and has been an important contributor to West Greens prosperity and growth. West Greens heritage, community and identity is at risk of being destroyed which would be catastrophic to the people that live there.

It is a priority for the residents of West Green to preserve its sense of worth and pride by retaining Leacroft and maintaining it in a usable state for the community. Although aware that there will not be a fully functional Doctors Surgery within the site it is important that the residents are able to retain Leacroft for community use to preserve the community and prevent further erosion of our society.

At the heart of the National Heritage Protection Plan is a clear set of principles about what matters and what is in danger of being lost. The plan aims to ensure that sustainable economic growth is delivered, but that England’s heritage is not needlessly at risk of damage, erosion or loss, that it is experienced, understood and enjoyed by visitors and local communities and providing memorable places where people live and work. It is vital that Leacroft is listed as a building of local importance in the local development framework due to its local distinctiveness and importance to West Green. It should be retained protected and put to beneficial use by the community.

Leacroft is a precious resource that is at the heart or West Green’s identity our local sense of place and our local story. But it is fragile and under immediate threat of destruction. Once lost it cannot be replaced. If it can be included in the National Heritage Protection Plan we can ensure that future generations can continue to appreciate and enjoy this vital inheritance.

When Leacroft becomes listed as a heritage asset planning decisions can be influenced in a way to ensure that it is conserved along with the local character of Ifield Road. Under the NPPF the conservation and contribution of locally listed heritage assets will be a material consideration in planning decision that directly affect them or their setting. Local heritage assets within conservation areas also benefit from the general control over demolition afforded by the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. The absence of any particular heritage asset on the local heritage list should not be taken to imply that it has no heritage value, simply that it does not currently meet the selection criteria or that it has yet to be identified.

It is not a requirement that buildings added to the Local Heritage List have to be rare or spectacular, their distinctiveness can lie in the commonplace or everyday but are important to the local cultural landscape. Leacroft is associated with a significant period in West Green’s social history, as it was once the site of the doctor’s surgery it was the hub of the community not just where patients were treated for their ailments but also a meeting place for old friends and neighbours, a place where the lonely could find a confidant. The particular characteristics of the buildings in Ifield road either side of Leacroft are prime examples of the pattern of settlement showing off the skill of the craftsmen of that era.

There is a list of criterion a building should meet to be included on the list of local importance it is believed that Leacroft satisfies that criteria.

Firstly age: Leacroft 117 Ifield Road was built during the Victorian period and is a significant building which is part of Crawleys rich history.

Rarity: Buildings of this size and magnitude are gradually being knocked down and ugly concrete characterless structures are being put up in their place. Leacroft is a distinctive building in its own right it has a lot of attributes that are instantly recognised by local residents. The style of Leacroft as a building is in keeping with similar properties in the locality its loss would be detrimental to the buildings left behind.

Aesthetic value: The design of the building is of immense importance to the local history and character of this road which need to be protected and preserved for future generations. The building itself is of architectural interest because of its design, construction, craftsmanship and decoration. Leacroft reinforces the individual sense of West Green and in particular Ifield Road it is a physical representation of the Victorian architecture. Leacroft is a distinctive building that represents a notable style of building in the area.

Group Value: Leacroft is clearly part of a group of assests that were all designed in the same period of time and therefore have a historic relationship. The significance and importance of Leacroft can be measured in terms of integrity. It has a sense of completeness as an individual building as a feature within a larger group of buildings in Ifield Road.

Evidential value: The significance of this local heritage asset is enhanced by the significant contemporary written records since becoming a doctors surgery.

Historic association: There is significant local historical association of local importance due to Leacrofts links with the local community while being used as a doctors surgery.

Landmark status: Leacroft has very strong communal and historical associations because of its striking aesthetic value, it does stand out as a landmark within the local scene. The significance of the importance of Leacroft can be measured in terms of representativeness. It evokes positive feelings of worth by reason of its architectural design and quality of its form and layout. It has a harmonious use of materials and design features that give it it an overall attractive external appearance in the local streetscene in good physical condition that can easily be improved.

Social and communal value: Leacroft is a place that is a source of local identity, distinctiveness, social interaction which although intangible it does contribute to the collective memory of Ifield Road in West Green.

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