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‘Heritage site’ outcry

Posted on December 19 2019 at 12:53:52

post office

Missing chimneys should be rebuilt, urges expert.

The demolition of the chimneys on a “heritage asset” in the centre of Alvechurch has provoked an outcry and demands that it be reinstated.

They were removed during work on the building on Bear Hill that housed Alvechurch Post Office until the end of November 2019.

Now Bromsgrove District Council’s Conservation Officer has recommended that the chimneys should be rebuilt and also that the new white plastic guttering and soffit board under the eaves be removed and materials in keeping with the originals be used instead.

The building was constructed in the 19th century to be used as Alvechurch Grammar School. It has been used for many years as Alvechurch Post Office until its sale.

A planning application to turn it into two commercial ground floor units and two upstairs residential flats was due to be considered by Bromsgrove’s planning committee by December 23.

It is not a listed building, but the Conservation Officer states in her report to the council that it “is a heritage asset that does meet the criteria for the Local Heritage List”.

She adds: “It is a rare example of polite architecture within the Alvechurch Conservation Area.

“The building stands as a landmark feature on Bear Hill due to its scale and prominence.”

The officer says the chimneys should be “reinstated to the original detailing”, as should the guttering and soffit.

Her recommendations were backed by Alvechurch Parish Council, although there were fears that planning officers may not be so enthusiastic.

Coun Andy Humphries told the council: “I spoke to the planning officer concerned and I got a feeling of total complacency.”

District councillor Charlie Hotham said: “This comes down to the whole nuance of the council.

“The role of the council is to set up rules and the council enforces the rules,” said Coun Hotham. “But if they do not enforce the rules, what is the point of the council?”

Click here for The Village View

Above: Chim, chimney, chim, chimen-no . . .The changing roofline of the Alvechurch Conservation Area.
Plus: The post box was sealed by Royal Mail (right) over fears of falling debris, Alvechurch Parish Council heard.

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