Fears for city’s Iron Age history
An Iron Age mound could be lost if plans for a student block at Rhodaus Town are approved, a historian fears.
The building is set to replace the former St Mary Bredin School, which later served as an office for the Canterbury Motor Co and sits on top of the mound.
Gazette historian Paul Crampton said: “Note that the new building is flat to the ground, so the truncated Iron Age mound on which the school sits looks like it will also be destroyed. It is literally the oldest structure in Canterbury.”
After the Gazette revealed architect Guy Hollaway’s plans last week, they aroused debate in the city.
Commenting on the Canterbury Remembering It As It Was page on Facebook, Corrinne Carter said: “That artist’s impression of what the new building will look like has given me palpitations! It looks like one of the faceless strips of new buildings in USA. What has this got to do with the wonderful heritage of Canterbury?” And Niall Greathead said: “I have nothing against students and most of them contribute well to the community in my experience but for heavens sake, why are they always considered more important then the people that live here? What this city needs is affordable homes for everyone.”
People living in the Rhodaus Close behind the development have also been having their say.
Retiree June Blowers, 80, said: “This isn’t a bad place to live and I honestly can’t say that I would be that bothered by this development.”
But Amrit Ghal, whose house would be just a few yards from the development, is not happy with the proposal. The 34-yearold said: “There’s too much development like this already – do we really need more? I fear that we might more noise when this new development is built.”
Mr Hollaway says the building is a response to the need to free up houses in residential areas and was inspired by the architectural styles of the past in Canterbury.
He said: “We want someone to drive past and say ‘that feels like Canterbury’, that it feels like it belongs.
“The new building would have 150 beds and we would be looking at a cluster model, which would have six or seven bedrooms and a shared kitchen and living space.
“There would be zero parking so no cars. Students living there would be able to use the Palamon facilities next door, like the gym and work spaces.”
The architect is holding a three-day public consultation ahead of the planning application process.
The drop-in events will be held at Palamon Court on Friday, September 8, from noon to 6pm, on Saturday, September 9, from 10am to 4pm and on Sunday, September 10, from 10am to 2pm.
The former St Mary Bredin School