Town library to be saved by listed building status?

PUBLISHED: 07:58 16 September 2011

Weston  Library Dr Smith and John Crockford Hawley photo call with library protestors.

Weston Library Dr Smith and John Crockford Hawley photo call with library protestors.

Archant

THE historic building housing Weston Library could soon be protected indefinitely, after 
heritage watchdogs assessed it as a candidate for listing.

The Boulevard library – designed by renowned Weston architect Hans Price and opened in 1900 – has been inspected by experts from English Heritage (EH).

Fears were expressed that the eye-catching building could be demolished after North Somerset Council withdraws the library service and moves it to a new base at Weston Town Hall.

However, town historian John Crockford-Hawley – who is both a town and district councillor - invited EH to examine the building, and is now hopeful the body will use its influence to safeguard its future.

Cllr Crockford-Hawley said: “Like many people in Weston I was amazed to discover that it is not already listed. All other public buildings designed by Hans Fowler Price are listed buildings.

“If my application is successful it will remove potential demolition ideas from those who may wish to capitalise on the site’s development value.

“I would like to see the building retained for community use and to this end have been in discussion with a number of local people and organisations.

“I would appreciate hearing further from anyone who might have realistic suggestions for the building’s future.”

Rachel Williams, assistant designation advisor at EH, said: “Anyone can apply for any building to be listed.

“Listing helps us to mark a building’s significance and celebrate its special architectural and historic interest.

“It brings specific protection so that its special interest can be properly considered in managing its future.”

The next step will be for EH to formalise its recommendation to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which will make the final decision.

No definite timescale for a verdict has been confirmed.

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