A group of historic buildings in Leicester city centre have been saved from immediate demolition after the city council stepped in.
The 19th century properties include what is thought to be one of Leicester’s last remaining ‘one-up, one-down’ cottages, in Garden Street in the city centre. It was built in the early 1800s and adjoins a small row of shops fronting Belgrave Gate.
During the clearance of the slums in the 1930’s, the properties escaped demolition, but the current owner of the land recently applied to the council for permission to demolish the buildings.
The city council has applied what is known as an ‘article 4’ direction, which will allow more time for the council to consider the historical significance of the properties. The owners will now need to apply for full planning permission if they want to demolish the buildings, which would then be considered through the council’s planning process.
As part of the article 4 direction, the council will also ask people’s views on the buildings.
Leicester city mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said, “Although these buildings are in a poor state of repair, they are an important part of our city’s social history. They’re a rare example of 19 century working-class houses within the city, and they provide an important link with our past. I’m pleased that people will now get the chance to air their views about what they would like to see happen next.”
Andrew Smith, the city council’s director of planning, added, “What this direction does is hit the ‘pause’ button on the planning process. It allows us time to consider in more detail what the future of these buildings might be. It also gives us time to talk to the owners of the land to see what the potential might be for a sympathetic redevelopment of the site.”
People can give their views on what they think should happen with the site at www.leicester.gov.uk/consultations by 8 March 2015.