Thanks to everyone that's taking the time to object. Got mine in the post today...
Objection to Planning Application Reference 05/02663/DC
(former Govanhill Picture House, Bankhall Street, Glasgow)
I am writing to lodge an official objection in the strongest possible terms to the above noted planning applications.
The plans involve the complete demolition of the cinema building to be replaced by flats.
The building was listed Grade B by Historic Scotland in 1989, primarily for its unusual Egyptian-styled facade.
The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 states, in part:
"…a planning authority […] shall have special regard to the desirability of preserving the building or its setting or any features of special architectural or historic interest which it possesses."
"… "preserving", in relation to a building, means preserving it either in its existing state or subject only to such alterations or extensions as can be carried out without serious detriment to its character, and "development" includes redevelopment."
I would therefore strongly suggest that the current application would NOT preserve the features of architectural interest, and would cause VERY serious detriment to the character of the listed building, given it involves its total demolition.
The National Planning Policy Guidelines state, in part:
“With respect to the demolition (meaning total or substantial destruction) of listed buildings, it is Government policy that no such building should be lost to our environment unless it is demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that every effort has been exerted by all concerned to find practical ways of keeping them.”
Given that this planning application involves the total demolition of the building, the onus is on the developers to prove that every effort has been exerted to find a practical way to keep the building intact.
Inspection of the publicly available documents included with the application in August 2005 show no supporting evidence from the developers that any effort has been made to market the building or attempt to find an alternative use for it in its present form.
The Historic Scotland Memorandum of Guidance on listed buildings and conservation areas (1998) states in part that:
“[…]authorities are urged, in considering applications for consent to demolish, to
presume in favour of the preservation of listed buildings except where a strong case can be made out for demolition after full consideration of the following factors: …
[…]a building’s importance both in itself and in its contribution to the local scene,
[…]a building’s condition, the cost of repairing and maintaining it in relation to its importance
[…]it will be necessary to show beyond doubt that it is not possible to adapt the existing building to accommodate any new use, or mix of uses, which would safeguard its future”
No documentation has been provided at the time of publicising this planning application to suggest that any of the three tests (importance, condition and alternative uses) have been applied to this building.
No suggestion has been made that the building is not of importance architecturally.
No survey has been provided showing the fabric of the building is in any way dangerous or beyond repair.
No information has been provided showing that no alternative use for the building in its current state can be found.
Therefore in every possible way this application fails to provide any reasonable justification for demolition, and should be clearly and strongly refused. Any other outcome would simply make a complete mockery of our planning and listed building system.
"I'd just move on to the 'hot-air ballooning vigilante' stage of my career earlier than planned"