Topic

Heritage Buildings

10 petitions

Update posted 3 days ago

Petition to UK government

Give automatic interim protection to buildings proposed for listing

Our built heritage is irreplaceable, and most people recognise its cultural and economic value. Listed buildings are given special protection by law, and it is a criminal offence to damage them, but current UK legislation offers no automatic interim protection to buildings which are under consideration for listing. As a result, over many years a long string of historic buildings have been destroyed or deliberately vandalised in order to prevent them being listed. Most famously the art Deco Firestone building in West London was bulldozed over a bank holiday weekend. Since then the same fate has befallen buildings ranging from important industrial heritage to ancient country pubs. More recently a rare and beautiful Jacobean ceiling in a former restaurant in Bristol was ripped out before it could be assessed for listing. It had survived the civil war. It had survived the industrial revolution. It had survived the Blitz and the depredations of 1960's town planning - only to be smashed to pieces as soon as it was put forward for listing.  If a local authority considers a building to be at special risk, they can choose to serve a Building Preservation Notice. But local authorities are reluctant to issue Building Preservation Notices, and often there is no prior reason to suspect that the owner will damage the building. Only a handful of BPN's are issued each year. Numerous organisations including The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, The Victorian Society, Bristol Heritage Forum and The Twentieth Century Society are calling for change to provide interim protection. In Wales buildings under consideration for listing are automatically given interim protection while their status is decided. But the UK parliament has failed to support similar legislation, which was previously proposed in 2008. If this legislation had been introduced when first proposed, many historic buildings might have been saved. The longer it takes to close this planning loophole, the more of our history and culture we will loose. I urge the UK government to amend the law to ensure that vulnerable historic buildings in the rest of the UK have the same protection as those in Wales. https://www.apollo-magazine.com/is-the-system-for-protecting-historic-buildings-working/ Draft 2008 Heritage Protection Bill: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/22858205/7349.pdf Historic Environment (Wales) Act 2016: http://cadw.gov.wales/historicenvironment/policy/historicenvironmentbill/?lang=en Firestone building: http://www.richmondandtwickenhamtimes.co.uk/news/626950.25_years_on___the_end_of_Firestone/ Sittingbourne Paper Mill and Blue Boys Inn:     https://cprekent.org.uk/news/standing-kents-built-heritage/ 15 Small Street, Bristol:             http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/09/01/historic-england-hits-roof-400-year-old-ceiling-torn-day-inspectors/ Carlton Tavern: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/environment/11525262/Bulldozers-level-historic-pub-the-day-before-it-is-due-to-be-listed.html  

Neil McKay
6,297 supporters
Update posted 5 days ago

Petition to Steve Bullock

Do not give our Ladywell Playtower to the union-busting Picturehouse / Cineworld chain!

The Mayor of Lewisham is currently deciding if the council should give the publically-owned Ladywell Playtower to the union-busting Picturehouse chain. Picturehouse is owned by Cineworld, who made £82million profit last year. Despite these massive profits, Picturehouse refuse to pay staff a living wage They sacked workers who were involved in union activities. They routinely use zero-hours contracts that force employees to live in fear of overnight destitution. They recently threatened to sack staff who went on strike for better conditions. The Playtower was built in 1884 as a public bath- it is a public asset owned by us and any future use of the building needs to benefit the community.  It is hard to imagine how something could be less beneficial for people in Lewisham than an employer that treats us like dirt.  There are 3 other bids on the table, two of which include cinema facilities (see here).  Steve Bullock will decide the winning bidder, who will be gifted the building so that it can be brought back to life. There is already a 5-screen picturehouse only 1.6 miles away, and there are 3 picturehouses within 5 miles of the Playtower. Lewisham council is a living wage employer, so they acknowledge the importance of paying staff enough to survive in the local area.  Lewisham is a Labour-run council, so it should support unions like BECTU- who support a Picturehouse boycott and whose members are on strike in Picturehouses.   A successful bid for Picturehouse/Cineworld would only encourage its shareholders to believe nobody cares about the living wage or decent working conditions.  It would strengthen Cineworld’s desire to withhold their massive profits from the hard-working staff who make them, since objectors would be seen as powerless.  It would be irresponsible of our council to hand Picturehouse a public victory over those of us who support fair pay and decent working conditions.   Lewisham deserves better.  Any other bid is better than the Picturehouse bid.  We call on the mayor to reject the Picturehouse bid, make it clear the bid was rejected because of Picturehouse's employment practices and call for the reinstatement of sacked union activists at the Brixton Ritzy. If you agree with us, it's important to share this petition and tell all your friends to keep an eye on Twitter / Facebook, where we will post information about how to get involved in actions to save our Playtower from Picturehouse / Cineworld if the mayor approves their bid. References: https://www.facebook.com/RitzyLivingWage https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/economy/2017/07/ picturehouse-cinema-strikes- are-becoming-emblematic- battle-workers-rights https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/13/now- showing-ritzy-low-pay- exploitation-picturehouse- chain-poverty-wages-cinema- staff https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/oct/02/ picturehouse-threatens-to- sack-striking-workers-in- dispute-over-pay http://ladywellplaytower.co.uk/consultation/

Iain Wilson
5,834 supporters
Update posted 3 weeks ago

Petition to The Revd Prebendary Edward Mason

Save Bath Abbey's exceptional Victorian interior!

Please join The Victorian Society’s campaign to urge Bath Abbey to reconsider permanently removing the beautiful Victorian pews from the Abbey nave. Bath Abbey, one of the wealthiest parish churches in the country, has secured Heritage Lottery Funding of £12.1 million to fund refurbishments that involve the removal of Victorian pews designed by famous architect Sir George Gilbert Scott. Meanwhile, hundreds of other historic churches are on Historic England’s ‘At Risk’ register with their futures in jeopardy due to lack of funds for essential repairs. The Victorian Society believes removing these historic pews is unnecessary and would have an extremely detrimental effect on the architectural and historical significance of this important religious building.   The Church of England is exempt from the requirement to obtain listed building consent and its parallel consent system is difficult to understand and largely unknown to the public. Therefore, we ask you to sign our petition to urge Bath Abbey to halt their destructive scheme. Scott’s restoration scheme was a major phase of the Abbey's development and has great historical and aesthetic importance; there is no doubt breaking it up would harm the Abbey's significance. Bath Abbey justifies its plans with its desire for a more flexible style of worship, but we believe the negligible benefits of removing these historic pews in no way justifies the substantial harm it would cause to one of Britain’s most important historical building. Daily Mail columnist, author and local Bath resident Bel Mooney agrees: “I believe that people in the future will look back and decry the early 21st century fad for ripping out church pews and replacing them with expensive modern chairs which do nothing to enhance the building, and (when not needed for some reason) have to be stacked in ugly towers. What is this for? The Abbey has worked beautifully (for concerts as well as worship) since the Scott pews were installed and will continue to do so when common sense, aesthetics and economics prevail to retain them.”

The Victorian Society
1,640 supporters