Bedford Councillors show us the way forward!

5 Feb

Up the top of the High St old buildings are being tarted up to restore their heritage. Around St Paul’s Sq the Old Shire Hall is receiving a similar spruce and they have just discovered that there is a much older wooden framed structure beneath a later exterior although the folk at Albion Archaeology and many others  knew about this some years back. Meanwhile an application has gone in to demolish the Tavistock Café near where Tavistock Street meets Roff Avenue. 8789779

Now you can’t just knock a building down and replace it without asking permission and circumstances dictate if it’ll be a yes or a no. Such trivial matters like listed building status can get in the way and councils employ experts to offer advice to bone headed councillors who have no particular expertise other than spouting rubbish most of the time and promises when the time comes to renew their place on the gravy train.

Officers recommended that the Tavistock Café application be refused on the basis of it conflicting with numerous council policies and the vague nature of how it would impact on the listed early 19th houses next door which without knowing the exact date puts it on the cusp between the Georgian and Victorian period with all the construction features of the former!

Cllr Will Hunt. Foremost expert on listed buildings!

Cllr Will Hunt. Foremost expert on listed buildings!

Now the Georgian Society is probably going to be interested in this nugget as despite the recommendation for refusal councillors opted to allow it with one of our fine noble community spirits Cllr Will Hunt saying  “The building next door may be old but it’s of no architectural merit”.

Now with urban architecture we are on a subject that I’m very familiar with and Cllr Hunt really is talking through his Hugh Janus here as Listed Status depends on not only architectural quality but general historical background and associations and then its position as part of a composite area. The Catholic Cathedral in Liverpool is relatively recent but is Listed as Grade 2* so while age is material it doesn’t follow that something has to be old and falling down to receive a grading. Tavistock Street is part of a conservation area and Hunt has just shown himself to be a total ignoramus of spectacular quality but like the Old Shire Hall a lot of us knew this some years back!

A Real Muppet

A Real Muppet


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