If you’re not on the listé
IWAS interested to read about your efforts to expose the difficulty in achieving the listing of ‘missed’ buildings in the national register (Athena, June 6), which applies as much in urban areas as rural ones. The St John’s conservation areas, in south-east London, are home to a set of cohesive Georgian and Victorian terraces now under threat from untrammelled development. One in particular is of special merit, with unusual bay promontories and handsome interlocking porticos.
As chairman of the local civic society, I have gone to great lengths to seek listing—national or local—of it. In every direction, the doors seem to be slammed shut. I am told a building needs to be at ‘immediate risk’ of demolition and, even then, securing a listing is unlikely. I suspect protection of our built heritage is considered to be at best a costly burden and, at worst, an obstacle to officialdom’s perception of ‘progress’. Oliver Lewis, chairman, The St John’s Society