The Victorian Society has said the planned demolition of Grade II listed St Joseph’s Orphanage would be a tragedy for Preston’s heritage.Advertisement
The proposals for the site include the demolition of the former orphanage buildings to make way for a housing development, with only the chapel and the tower being retained.
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In 2016 the buildings were placed on the Victorian Society’s Top 10 Most Endangered Buildings list.
The Society believes that the site has been severely neglected and poorly secured since its closure, which it says has resulted in extensive vandalism and arson to the buildings. Now it is urging the developers to rethink their plans and retain the historical structures.
Tom Taylor, Conservation Adviser for the Victorian Society, said: “The demolition of almost all the historic buildings will substantially harm the significance of the site.
“The significance of the site can be attributed largely to the exterior shells of the historic buildings, and these can practicably be saved.
“The principal aim of any development plans should be to retain them.”
The Society has also criticised Preston City Council for not doing more to ensure that the owners, adequately protect the listed historic buildings.
Chris Hayward, Director of Development for Preston City Council, said: “We take our role in conserving Preston’s rich architectural history seriously when considering developments in the city.
“However, we are unable to comment on individual planning applications that have yet to be considered by our planning committee.”
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What do you think of The Victorian Society’s protest? Let us know in the comments.