Angry artist in poster protest

AN angry Portishead conservationist has launched a poster campaign against plans to demolish a Victorian town centre building. Catherine Stockham, an artist, has been busy putting up posters around the town encouraging residents to fight off plans by deve

AN angry Portishead conservationist has launched a poster campaign against plans to demolish a Victorian town centre building.Catherine Stockham, an artist, has been busy putting up posters around the town encouraging residents to fight off plans by developers to demolish Worthingtons in the High Street and replace it with a three-storey department store.The store was sold last year to retail giant Mackays Stores Ltd, which has put forward the department store plans, including a second floor coffee shop.But the application has sparked outrage within the town with many claiming the development will ruin Portishead's Victorian High Street.Mrs Stockham has been putting up posters around the town urging people to write and object to the plans.Mrs Stockham said: "In the millennium town guide it clearly states that planning guidance is in place to retain and restore the Victorian character of the buildings."To come along and demolish this building is just ludicrous."The designs of the rear of the building, along with the unattractive toilet block which is already there, will make the area look like a slum."People often don't realise what they have got until it has gone."I cannot stand by and let this beautiful Victorian building be bulldozed."Mrs Stockham is also planning to hand a petition objecting to the changes to councillors. Portishead and North Weston Town Council planning committee is recommending the scheme is refused.Councillors said the scheme was out of keeping with the street scene in the High Street and the Victorian architecture of the town should be kept.They also feared by giving the scheme the green light it would set a precedent to other developers wanting to demolish historical buildings in the town.The town council is due to discuss the application tonight (Wed).

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