If you’re not on the listé

Country Life Every Week - - Letters To The Editor -

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

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