The Glynn Edwards Hall – Conservation Officer Recommends Refusal

July 16th, 2012

Just for a change … front view (Also may help with understanding C.O’s comments.)

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The Birmingham City Council Conservation Officer for this area has now released their report on the Glynn Edwards Hall planning application proposal. It makes interesting reading. You can read the full report here: Birmingham City Council Conservation Officer’s Report on the Glynn Edwards Hall Planning Application

It is all worth reading, but here are some extracts:

The application site is set between two grade II Listed Buildings, and is a curtilage property to the Church. In addition it is Locally Listed in its own right at grade A. In addition the properties on the opposite side Alexander Road and No 50 Yardley Road is also Locally Listed. These buildings are typical of the range of architectural styles dominant at the time and combine to give this part of Acocks Green a specific sense of place and character.

[…] we have provided clear pre-application advice expressing our considerable concern regarding the principle of demolishing the existing building, which we consider to have merit both in terms of the setting of the Listed Buildings and the wider streetscene. The existing building turns the corner extremely well and is respectful to the setting of the adjacent Listed Buildings.

[…] As you know we have previously expressed the view that greater thought should be given to the better/more efficient use of the existing buildings with some judicious demolition and modest extension. In my view this has not been adequately considered and robustly analysed within the supplementary documents. The assessment of the value of the existing buildings to the overall heritage asset is somewhat cursory; and I am not convinced that all other alternatives to demolition have been considered.

[…] The scale of the current building respects the church with the elements closest to it being of the lowest level. As a result even though there is little space between the two structures, the Hall is subservient and not unduly dominant. In contrast the proposed two-storey arrangement creates an extremely overbearing and uncomfortable juxtaposition with the Church. The proposed Alexander Road elevation is similarly extremely incongruous.

[…] The expanse of roof to Alexander Road is unduly dominant, further exacerbated by the lack of decoration and the use of the palette of materials. In addition I am unconvinced as to the proposed ‘link’, and the unsympathetic additions to the west elevation which slices across the existing windows. Powder coated grey aluminium roof panels are not an appropriate material in this location.

[…] in view of the above I would recommend that this application be refused as adversely affecting the setting of the adjacent Listed Buildings and having a negative impact on the surrounding streetscene.

We agree with all of this, and much of this has also been put to us by local people, especially the point about the materials, which are inappropriate and insensitive for this location. One point which we think this report brings out particularly nicely is that, in effect, the Glynn Edwards is a bungalow with dormer windows. One good reason for this is that the architect, who had also, nine years earlier, designed the 1913 church itself did not want to create a building which would compete with his own, master, creation. The Glynn Edwards is, deliberately, a less striking building than the church. It is the, sympathetic, supporting act, but keeping more quietly in the background, lower in height. The new building is a full two stories.

If you are reading this, and you are wishing you had written in yourself, to planning, there is still time to join the many others who have written. Planning have said they will take comments until at least 20th July. You can download our suggested, draft, letter here: Glynne Edwards Hall – Standard Letter opposing demolition This letter can be simply be completed with your own address and signed and posted to the address shown, it can be added to in the additional space at the end, or it can be used as a model for your own comments. Alternatively, you can comment on-line here (Plan details are also here. Some print documents, which will not download from the BCC website Planning page, are on our own site, in our previous postings here.)

If you have not seen our postings before, don’t forget to check out our previous two postings, with more info on the Glynn Edwards, and on this plan.

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