Norton is not totally gone

At the risk of exacerbating Mr Gurd s anger rather than assuaging it (Norton build is not on – The Comet January 4) perhaps I can correct a few factual inaccuracies. First and foremost, the Norton School site was in the freehold of Hertfordshire County Co

At the risk of exacerbating Mr Gurd's anger rather than assuaging it (Norton build is not on - The Comet January 4) perhaps I can correct a few factual inaccuracies.

First and foremost, the Norton School site was in the freehold of Hertfordshire County Council and therefore the Heritage Foundation had no say in respect of the redevelopment proposals. That said my understanding is that the developers, Miller Homes, were required to retain the splendid pavilion building by the planning authority and were happy to do so. The school has not been completely demolished.

As for the fire station, Palace Cinema and the Garden City Hotel, they were demolished many, many years before the Heritage Foundation came into being. Is this a case of the sins of the father being visited upon the son?

By way of contrast, Mr Gurd fails to give the Foundation credit for its actions in rescuing and restoring the splendid Spirella Building and Broadway Cinema. A section 146 Notice from us also spurred North Hertfordshire District Council into action, resulting in their excellent restoration and extension of the Mrs Elizabeth Howard Memorial Hall.


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Finally, I was sorry to read of Mr and Mrs Keen's disappointment at the lack of 'Christmas Spirit' in the Garden City. As ever, the Heritage Foundation met the entire cost of and erected the street Christmas lights, but, I suspect that it falls to a number of other organisations, individually and collectively, to make further contributions which create the Christmas atmosphere Mr and Mrs Keen found lacking. Certainly, a few friends of mine (or, should I say, ex-friends) had intimated to me that Hitchin lights were rather impressive this year, so all credit to the retailers and other businesses who funded them. Clearly, the Garden City must do better next year!

STEWART KENNY, Director General, Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation

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