Library gets listed to be preserved
PUBLISHED: 10:00 16 December 2011
CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save Weston's historic library learned yesterday (Weds) that their bid to have the building listed has been approved.
The Boulevard library – designed by renowned Weston architect Hans Price and opened in 1900 – will be protected indefinitely after the Government ruling.
Efforts to save the building began earlier this year when North Somerset Council revealed plans to uproot the library service for a new base at the Town Hall.
Library-users fought to halt the relocation, but when that battle was lost they instead turned their attention to preserving the landmark building.
North Somerset councillor John Crockford-Hawley – a keen historian – applied to heritage watchdogs to list the eye-catching structure and safeguard its future.
Experts from English Heritage inspected the building in September, and made a formal recommendation to the Government’s Department for Media, Culture and Sport.
The recommendation that the building be protected because of its significant architectural interest has now been formally ratified, and the library granted Level Two listed status.
Cllr Crockford-Hawley said: “Like many people I was amazed to discover that it is not already listed. All other public buildings designed by Hans Fowler Price are listed buildings.
“I’m delighted the minister has agreed to recognise the architectural worth of the library by adding it to the statutory List of buildings worth preserving. All public buildings designed by Hans Fowler Price are now protected.
“It also means North Somerset Council will not be able to even think of its demolition. Great news.”
Weston MP John Penrose – whose role in Government includes overseeing listing applications – welcomed the decision.
He said: “As Weston’s local MP I’m delighted that this important part of our town’s heritage will be preserved for future generations to enjoy.
“And as the Government Minister in charge of listing buildings like this one, I’m particularly pleased that – no matter what it’s used for in future – we’ve been able to give the building legal protection to match its historical importance and quality.”