Historic London Colney building in top ten ‘at risk’ buildings list in country
- Credit: Archant
A historic London Colney building has been listed as one of the top ten ‘at risk’ in the country.
The former All Saints Pastoral Centre and Chapel in London Colney has been included in the Twentieth Century Society (C20) Top 10 Buildings at Risk List 2019.
This means the community may lose the Grade II* Listed building, which was built in 1899 as an Anglican convent.
While the main building was designed by Leonard Stokes in the late 19th century, construction on Sir Ninian Comper's Gothic-style chapel was started in 1927 and finished by his son Sebastian between 1960 and 1964.
Comper designed relatively few new churches and his speciality was the fitting-out and decoration of interiors.
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All Saints Pastoral Centre and Chapel was converted into a conference centre and retreat by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Westminster in 1973, but by 2011 it had fallen into disrepair and was closed.
Property developer Comer Homes bought the site in 2011 and would now like to redevelop it for residential housing using an Enabling Development scheme to subsidise restoration costs.
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C20, a charity which safeguards the heritage of architecture and design in Britain from 1914 onwards, has included it on this list because it is concerned about how long the consent process is taking.
While the paperwork is being approved, the effects of water ingress and deterioration in the window mullions only becomes worse.
Director of C20, Catherine Croft, said: "Once England was seen to be leading the way in the conservation of historic buildings, now the system is impotent and disastrously under-resourced.
"Whilst listing used to protect our best historic buildings for posterity, today gaining consent to demolish them is becoming just a minor inconvenience for determined developers.
"We must not allow quick profit, or spurious 'public benefit' arguments to outweigh the loss of buildings which future generations should be allowed to cherish and enjoy.
"Once demolished, these buildings, and the stories they tell, are lost forever."
Other sites on the Top 10 Buildings at Risk List 2019 include Richmond House, The British Library Centre for Conservation, the BFI IMAX Cinema in Lambeth, and Ardudwy Theatre and Residential Tower in Wales.
Comer Homes did not respond to requests for comment.