Call to stop bulldozing away town heritage

PUBLISHED: 05:33 20 July 2006 | UPDATED: 09:37 24 May 2010

STONE Victorian properties in Weston should be protected from developers before 'a new wave of destruction becomes fashionable' - claims a leading councillor. North Somerset councillor John Crockford-Hawley is calling for a 'Stone Town Conservation Area'

STONE Victorian properties in Weston should be protected from developers before 'a new wave of destruction becomes fashionable' - claims a leading councillor.North Somerset councillor John Crockford-Hawley is calling for a 'Stone Town Conservation Area' to be created.The proposal comes as objections grow to plans to demolish two traditional stone buildings in Bristol Road Lower and put up '21st Century-style' apartment blocks.Cllr Crockford-Hawley said: "I don't propose to stand idly by as our heritage is pensioned off for a new phase of inappropriate speculative gain. "Westonians need to rekindle that campaigning zeal of the 1970s before a new wave of destruction becomes fashionable. What's next in the bulldozers' path?"North Somerset Council has received 23 letters of objections to plans to replace the former nursing home with 34 modern apartments.Weston Town Council has also opposed the plans branding the development 'totally unsuitable'.But developer Bach Homes says the designs are 'architecturally stimulating' and would provide '21st Century accommodation' for people living '21st Century lifestyles'.The firm wants to create one or two-bedroom affordable flats and provide a car parking space for each flat. It has submitted a planning application to North Somerset Council.Cllr Mike Bell, who represents the area, has called in the application. He said: "The plans are clearly causing concern amongst residents and we will do everything we can to ensure that their views are taken into account. "We have called the application in before the west area committee so that elected members can make the final decision."Cllr Crockford-Hawley said: "I have always argued against the demolition of good-quality stone built houses which constitute part of our important Victorian heritage. "This particular planning application underlines the need for the council to extend the conservation area boundaries in Weston to create an all-embracing Stone Town Conservation Area in which the presumption should be in favour of retaining both the sound 19th century stone properties and their garden settings.

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