The Twentieth Century Society Joins Battle To Save Listed Building

In a letter from c20society to Wandsworth Council

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PutneySW15 have reproduced a letter from c20society to the council outlining their concerns over plans to demolish listed sports hall at Elliott School:

Paul Robinson
Director Children’s Services
Town Hall
Wandsworth High Street
London SW18 2PU
28 February 2012

Dear Bruce Glockling

Elliott School, Pullman Gardens, Putney, London SW15 (G.A. Trevett for the LCC, 1955—56; Grade II)
Your ref 12-225 - Our ref 97 07 04

The Society is deeply concerned by the tone and priorities set in the document with the above reference number (12-225): ‘Report by the Director of Children’s Services on Elliott School, Pullman Gardens, SW15 (West Putney)’, prepared for tomorrow’s Finance and Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee (FCROSC) meeting (Wednesday 29 February 2012).

The scheme considered here proposes very substantial demolition of a nationally listed building. The proposed disposal of surrounding fields would also have a very strong impact on the setting of the listed building. Therefore, we are deeply concerned that the wrong message comes across through this report, as if the listed status of the building is a secondary factor. Notably, the requirement for Listed Building Consent is not included in the proposed ‘Programme’ (§24).

In this same context, we are also incredibly concerned by references to pre-application consultation with English Heritage: the outcome of pre-application consultation with EH appears to be considered conclusive as regards Listed Building Consent (see §16: ‘depending on the outcome of discussions with English Heritage’). As is astutely noted in the ‘Head of Property Audit Comments’, listed building consent is outside the Council’s control (§34). In addition, the Society is a statutory consultee for LBC applications proposing total or partial demolition. Its exclusion from discussions that are presented as if they can carry formal LBC weight goes against national and local Historic Environment policies.

The significance of the heritage asset at the core of these proposals needs to be brought to the foreground. We urge FCROSC and Wandsworth Council to reconsider the priorities of this scheme and to include immediately a close collaboration with its Conservation Team and all heritage stakeholders on any proposals for this very significant post-war listed school.

We hope our comments will be of help and taken into consideration. Should you require some clarification on any of the above, do not hesitate to contact me. I would also greatly appreciate if you could keep us informed of any further developments on this case.
Remit: The Twentieth Century Society was founded in 1979 and is the national amenity society concerned with the protection, appreciation, and study of post-1914 architecture, townscape and design.

The Society is acknowledged in national planning guidance as the key organisation concerned with the modern period and is a constituent member of the Joint Committee of the National Amenity Societies. Under the procedures set out in ODPM Circular 09/2005, all English local planning authorities must inform the Twentieth Century Society when an application for listed building consent involving partial or total demolition is received, and they must notify us of the decisions taken on these applications.

Yours sincerely

Dr Christina Malathouni
Senior Caseworker

The Twentieth Century Society, 70 Cowcross Street, London EC1M 6EJ – Tel 020 7250 3857

April 26, 2012