Monday, December 08, 2008

Saving Bromley House in Nottingham

Bromley House is the most incredible place - it houses Nottingham's Subscription Library in an 18th century town house and has an amazing little garden. It is an oasis of calm in the midst of the city centre. Surrounded by far too many rather tacky buildings, it is under threat from a number of things and has been fighting a variety of inappropriate building plans for the nearby derelict former Odeon cinema site for some time.

There have long been problems with developers proposing multi-storey developments in close proximity, and now we find out the Council failed to notify anyone - including the library - of changes to the latest developers plans despite a meeting at the committee being due just next week (17th Dec). To top it all, English Heritage in its infinite wisdom has now decided to withdraw support for our campaign of opposition saying it now believes the development will do 'no harm' (how can they POSSIBLY tell?!) and that they no longer require any consultation from the Council with them. Yet even EH admit that there are still problems with the plans and that there are 'missed opportunities' for improvement of the overall site which is very close to a large number of multi-storey buildings on Maid Marian Way which the Council itself admits should NOT be added to and that have been to the detriment of the cityscape.

I don't get it.

If any of you are interested in adding weight to a campaign for a brilliant local site of historic interest, let me know. if you are interested in libraries and their preservation, let me know. If you care about city centres not being over-run with more unnecessary high-storey buildings then also join us.


Jane Henry said...

Yes, yes, yes. Planning decisions in this country stink. We took part in a very well orchestrated plan to stop Tesco's building super store down the road from us. It was way too big for the space, the number of cars that would have been using the store would put massive strain on an already overburdened traffic system (the lorries would also only be able to come one way through the town which shows how bonkers it was etc etc). Anyway. No one was saying there shouldn't be SOMETHING there, perhaps a Tesco Express would be good, but not a massive superstore which would kill what remains of the pathetic shops in our town. We WON our campaign. The developers withdrew, only get this, NOW Tesco's have bought the site and its going ahead despite huge local opposition. Tell me how that is democratic? It has made me incredibly cynical about local politics, where I did think it was possible to make a difference.

The sort of thing you are talking about annoys the hell out of me, they tear down things and replace them with crap (or to quote Joni Mitchell, Take paradise and put up a parking lot) - my town is full of blank spaces where there were once elegant 18th century town houses because of the cultural vandalism that went on in the 60s. I think this kind of thing should be resisted at all costs. Where do I sign up Lisa????

chrissie_allen said...

Yes, planning is utterly sucky.
Having seen(despite public opposition) the demolition of two characterful cinemas, in the past few years, in the town where I grew up, (only to be replaced by a car sales showroom and a bingo palace,)I am interested in saving Bromley House. It seems fabulous and would be a huge loss to many.

To add insult to injury in the cases of the cinemas, in order to make way for the huge complex needed to fill the void (you know the kind of thing-- poorly lit,poorly maintained after the initial novelty has worn off and cash is short) a large number of beautiful little arcade shops and their surroundings were subjected to the demolition ball.

It looks ghastly on that high street now. Yuk!

Lisa Rullsenberg said...

Am sure that the library itself will be happy to let you know how to lend support to the campaign. I will email you their enquiries address.