Protect our heritage

A REGISTER of important buildings should be set up, according to a preservation charity. BEAMS, Built Environment Advisory and Management Service, has made the recommendation to Stevenage Borough Council that a list should be started to protect buildings

A REGISTER of important buildings should be set up, according to a preservation charity.

BEAMS, Built Environment Advisory and Management Service, has made the recommendation to Stevenage Borough Council that a list should be started to protect buildings which are not listed buildings or in a conservation area but are still of great importance to the town.

One such building is Gunnells in Fairview Road, Stevenage. The house is under threat after its owners applied to knock it down and replace it with flats.

BEAMS, a consultancy service which is part of the Hertfordshire Building Preservation Trust, has been asked to write a report about Gunnells for the council.


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Chris Brady, a BEAMS conservation officer, said Gunnells is a significant building in the locality. Its name has inspired the name of the surrounding area.

A spokesman for the Fairview Road Residents' Association, said: "The council has only used BEAMS in the past for buildings in the conservation area, so this is a major breakthrough for us."

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During the residents' association's campaign to save Gunnells members have been left concerned at what they call a "lack of planning and conservation policy" at the council.

They collected a petition with more than 1,000 signatures objecting to the demolition of Gunnells and the council's lack of conservation police.

The spokesman went on to say that Gunnells is a historic 1925 building which has played a significant part in pre-war Stevenage.

She said: "This is the last remaining house of its kind in the town and we wish the council to take its custodial role of Stevenage's heritage seriously."

She said the planning department does not protect buildings in the Old Town outside the conservation area of the High Street.

She said: "Once destroyed building like this are never replaced."

BEAMS is also concerned about Woodfield Residential Home in Rectory Lane in Stevenage.

Last year Stevenage Borough Council received an application for the demolition of the care home and the erection of a new building. The charity is keeping an eye on any future plans for the site.

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