Does Gunnells really matter?

It is with some concern that I read there are plans afoot for the demolition of Gunnells. Yet no-one seems able or willing to demolish the well known eyesore, the Manulife building – an edifice which has always recalled the splendours of architecture in E

It is with some concern that I read there are plans afoot for the demolition of Gunnells. Yet no-one seems able or willing to demolish the well known eyesore, the Manulife building - an edifice which has always recalled the splendours of architecture in East Germany in the fifties.

Since Stevenage is still regarded as a new town, it seems that the developers and SBC equally regard the place as a kind of perpetual blank canvas, upon which buildings can be demolished and erected at will, without any eye to local heritage. This policy is fast approaching its sell-by date in Stevenage; there does come a point at which a new town becomes a town, no longer to be infantised by developers' apparently insatiable cravings for ever more demolition and replacement. Yet the blank canvas policy should never have been applied to the Old Town at all.

Perhaps in the proposed demolition of Gunnells and the continued retention of the Manulife building, we are being psychologically prepared for the jerry-built horrors that are to come, both in Stevenage's green spaces and in the Old Town - not to mention west of Stevenage.

NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED


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I would prefer not to get involved in the arguments over Gunnells, but the first letter in last week's paper demands a reply.

My council tax is already far too high so I would object to any proposal for the council to buy the house as an official house for the mayor. There will be 144 flats and 54 houses in the new development off Fairview Road, so there will be some youngsters looking for mischief. If the council bought Gunnells a more sensible use would be as a youth facility. There is enough room in front of the building for an open-air swimming pool so the youngsters can scream in delight at the generosity of nearby residents, who, I expect, will be volunteering to have their council house raised by a couple of bands to pay for it.

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Or will the protestors suddenly agree with Mr Garrard that replacing this out of date building with modern dwellings is perhaps a better idea.

NAME AND ADDRESS WITHHELD

Gunnells, what is all the fuss about, a very small percentage of Stevenage residents pretending to be concerned for the heritage of our town.

If Gunnells is or was such an important part of our heritage why hasn't it got a Blue Plaque or preservation order. I am sure 99 per cent of Stevenage residents could not find the house if you paid them. It sits back off the road and is hardly noticeable, as I assume the flats would be. As far as extra traffic is concerned, I would assume whoever purchased one of the new flats would do so, so they would be able to walk to the town centre and railway station, without the need of a car or public transport! I wonder if the petitioners have connections to the Rectory Lane petitioners!!

D. BUTT

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