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
Petition to STOKE ON TRENT CITY COUNCIL
Stop the Closure of Burslem Gymnastics Centre
We oppose the transfer of the Burslem Gymnastics Centre to Fenton Manor for the following reasons. This gymnastics centre building is a site of social significance It was built in 1902 as a barracks for the 1st Volunteer Battalion - The Prince of Wales's (North Staffordshire) Regiment and also doubled as a public gymnasium, (source thepotteries.org). This is evidenced on various social media discussion sites throughout Stoke on Trent and Burslem . As with sites of social significance, there are special meanings attached to places by groups of people, rather than individuals that need to be taken account of in heritage terms. This building is one of them and should remain open and used as a public gymnasium. To improve the running of the centre, surely working with the City of Stoke Gymnastics Club to offer some help with the management of the facility could be provided along with sufficient no-cost social media marketing to raise the profile of and increase numbers attending. Also, using the building for other events should also be looked into as it is one of the only buildings in Burslem that has its own free parking facility. The local community group, Our Burslem, would be willing to help with this rather than lose this facility. You state in the Budget Consultation Book that this would be "minimal impact on service delivery" however, it would be a detrimental impact on our already struggling town. You also state in your document that your medium term financial strategy is underpinned by your five "Stronger Together Priorities" We would like to comment on four of these priorities:- "Support vulnerable people in our communities to live their lives well" - Burslem Gymnastics Centre used to offers classes for people with disabilities and it is our understanding that funding is available to offer these classes in the future. How is closing this facility "supporting the community to live their lives well". How is this helping those people? "Support residents to fulfil their potential" - how is the closure of this facility allowing the future gymnasts and athletes of Burslem and nearby areas who cannot afford to travel to Fenton fulfil their potential? "Support our businesses to thrive, delivering investment to our towns and communities" - how is this proposal supporting or delivering investment to Burslem? "Work with residents to make our towns and communities great places to live" - how are you making Burslem town and the community a great place to live by taking away such facilities? We suggest the following course of action: Not to move the facility to Fenton, but to take the time to help the facility run more efficiently and encourage people to use the facility in Burslem.To look at ways to increase footfall in the town rather than take away facilities that already bring people into the town.To look at "the bigger picture", not just at the Council's costs. To look at the detrimental impact this would have on the already struggling town and take the time and effort it requires to help the town to benefit its residents.
Petition to Abingdon Town Council, vale of the white horse district council
Save our Guildhall
1. We wish Abingdon Town Council to renovate the Abbey Hall, as promised. We want the residue of the (£1.2m) Vale grant to be invested to help fund a large town centre space to serve our growing population of 38,000 people. The Hall is needed for civic functions, for Abingdon's many clubs and societies and for activities for all ages. It should have disabled access to public rooms. A cinema would be good. DO NOT SELL THE ABBEY HALL FOR DEVELOPMENT. 2. We need Abingdon Town Council to maintain and preserve the beautiful and historic Guildhall and its 18th Century staircase intact for future generations.
Petition to Shiraz Khan, Ged Potter, Sara Claxton
Stop the Demolition of the Derby Pepper Pot Towers
The two towers are all that remain of the former Hall & Young's Derbyshire Royal Hospital a building that was built in the early 1890s and demolished in 2015. With the site now cleared a scheme has been proposed for a new 500-home neighbourhood that will retain one of the "Pepper-Pot" buildings and see the other demolished. Though on the Derby City Councils list of buildings of local importance they are not statutory listed. Currently the demolition decision has been deferred but public support is required to ensure that both of these iconic buildings are retained and incorporated into the proposed housing scheme.
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.”
Petition to Plymouth City Council
Plymouth City Council to carry out essential maintenance work on Efford Fort
Efford Fort is one of many historic Palmerston Forts from the 19th century located around Plymouth. The site is on the heritage "at risk" register and is in severe need of scrub and foliage clearance and general maintenance to prevent further permanent damage to an essential but overlooked part of Plymouth's history. Heritage site surveys (publicly available online) have noted that due to neglect several parts of the structure are in danger of collapse. At some point in the forts history, the current or previous site users have treated the location with disregard and used the parade ground, the dry-moat, and the surrounding parkland as a rubbish dump, which can clearly be seen from the public spaces around the Fort. Deer Park and Efford Warren (which form the nature reserves that surround the exterior of the fort) are strewn with waste car parts, glass, baths, metal barrels, tyres, household waste and all manner of refuse that has accumulated around the perimeter of the fort and been left with no consideration for the safety of the passers by who make use of this public space or for the condition of the site. Plymouth City council should undertake measures to ensure that this site of historic and natural interest is maintained. This may involve negotiating with the site users to ensure the space is well cared for, or organising a clean-up crew on a volunteer basis with permission from the current site users, or using council funds to remove trees and growths on the top of the fort, or something similar. Efford fort is a part of Plymouth's Heritage and is unique in it's design, featuring a number of Haxo Casemates and Garrison block. The fort has been on the "at risk" register for a number of years, and yet as of yet no attempts to resolve the situation have been made apparent to the public. Please Don't let our neglected history fall into ruin, sign this petition. Thanks!