The Twentieth Century Society has now examined all available documents received as a result of extensive Freedom of Information requests concerning the circumstances of the controversial de-listing case of a five-storey residential apartment block at 24-26 Hereford Square in Kensington, West London, completed in 1958 and designed by Colin St John Wilson and Arthur Baker.
There are two principal issues:
Issue 1 – English Heritage’s approach to review cases
The C20 Society is concerned that English Heritage to have failed to adequately defend their own views in this case. There is the very real prospect that in all arguable review cases any person who engages legal counsel and a competent consulting expert will roll over English Heritage. English Heritage were anticipating being given in the final say in listing decisions under the new provisions of the now defunct Heritage Protection Bill. They need to realise that they are not in the powerful position they envisaged and act accordingly.
Issue 2 – C20 Society’s exclusion from review proceedings
A second matter of concern is the exclusion of C20 Society from these review proceedings. The Society’s status as a statutory consultee only specifically ensures that it receives notice of applications for listed building consent to demolish or make significant alterations to listed buildings. However, a review of listing is clearly of the same nature as the matters upon which the Society is a statutory consultee. Notice of review of listing decisions on post 1914 buildings is important both as it will give C20 Society the opportunity to submit its own evidence, and also to lobby English Heritage to take effective action.
The Society intends to take two strands of action:
Strategy 1 – English Heritage’s approach to review cases
As a preliminary step C20 Society will flag up with English Heritage its concerns that their response to the listing review cases has proven ineffective and requires revision. As our next step, C20 Society’s concerns regarding English Heritage’s role – and any inadequacies highlighted by the Hereford square case – will be raised with DCMS, at an appropriately senior level.
Strategy 2 – C20 Society’s inclusion in review proceedings
To secure notification to C20 Society of relevant review cases, the Society will seek an early meeting with Mr. Harry Reeves, the relevant senior civil servant, at which we will seek to agree a protocol as the matters upon which C20 Society should be consulted by the DCMS, as a matter of best practice. We would hope that this would cover not only consultation on the review of relevant listing decisions, but also such matters as applications for certificates of exemption from listing for post-1914 buildings.
For further images or information, please contact Christina Malathouni at the Twentieth Century Society on 020 7250 3857 or by email – firstname.lastname@example.org , or call Catherine Croft on 07808 168 489