Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Hacked off about Liverpool.

I have posted a little about Liverpool in this blog.

Today I am really hacked off about it, and about hacking off.
In March 2008 the Victorian Society was on the case, supporting at least conservation area status, and the building was put forward for listing.

Campaign hots up for Josephine Butler House
Wednesday 12 March 2008

The Victorian Society has asked Liverpool City Council to extend a conservation area to include a threatened building on Hope Street. Concerned at reports that demolition work began at Josephine Butler House last week, despite the fact that the council only considered, and rejected, plans to knock it down yesterday, the Victorian Society has called for the Mount Pleasant Conservation Area to be extended to include the building. It hopes that this measure will safeguard the former hospital, which was built by J.D. Lee in 1861 to accommodate the expanding Lying-in Hospital in Horatio Street.

‘We’re very pleased to hear that councillors were unhappy with the demolition plans,’ said Alex Baldwin, Conservation Adviser of the Victorian Society. ‘The loss of Josephine Butler House would be a disaster, not only because the building is an attractive physical record of the development of Liverpool’s medical services, but also because it contributes a great deal to the character of both the Conservation Areas it stands between. It should be protected and we urge the Council to take action now before this significant piece of Liverpool’s built heritage is lost for good.

Picture and report here:

The developer (Maghull Developments) then proceeded to hack off the handsome stone frontage in order that it was rendered unlistable before English Heritage had a chance to inspect for its report to the DCMS. The building is now in a dreadful state, pending some supposed redevelopment.

The sorry saga continues with today's news that the developer hasn't the cash to do anything now with the building. Still, no doubt demolition will be cheap, and hey, a nice cleared site for redevelopment.

The story is told in detail here, with a number of telling and shocking pictures:

Comments section reads:

Yes, there is a planning application in now to replace the building with an extension to the car park. Only for 3 years though until Maghull are ready to rebuild (or give up on their project maybe).
Regardless of the long term that building needs demolishing or at least made safe NOW!
You can see how open the front is, one good gust of wind and there could be a load of slates landing on someone's head.
Posted by:
Ian Jackson March 1, 2009 06:38 PM

Ian Jackson raises some valid points. However, one cannot consider this situation without reflecting on how the building came to be in such a parlous state in the first place.
The building was perfectly sound and no risk to public safety until the 'work' by Maghull commenced on it. Surely any Health and Safety concerns that arise from the current situation ought to be rectified at the expense of those who created the problem in the first place?
Allowing demolition, ostensibly to solve a perceived safety risk, is rewarding those who have committed the causal acts of degradation and neglect, with what they (it now seems apparent) wanted all along.Posted by: O.Sykes
March 2, 2009 01:50 PM

Josephine Butler:



Hilary Burrage said...

The City Council had in fact been asked on a number of occasions over several years, by the Hope Street Association and others, to include this little central area of land within a whole Hope Street conservation area.

Sadly, they've refused to do so. It would surely have saved all this trouble, had they done so.

Nemesis said...

You have to wonder why they did not. But then it's Liverpool...