East Preston uproar over plans to level ‘rare’ cottage

Opposed: Lesley Wood, left, Emma Weaver, Jim Deen, Kurt Maywell, Margaret Gilbert and David Sawers, right
Opposed: Lesley Wood, left, Emma Weaver, Jim Deen, Kurt Maywell, Margaret Gilbert and David Sawers, right

PLANS to demolish a ‘rare’ Victorian cottage in East Preston and replace it with two new homes have outraged villagers.

Residents living in The Street have united with East Preston Parish Council, East Preston and Kingston Preservation Society and Preston Café in their bid to oppose the destruction of number three, in The Street.

Those against the proposals argue that razing the cottage to the ground would cause long-term harm to the character of the village’s centre.

Simon Cross, clerk of East Preston Parish Council is opposing the scheme.

He described the property as a ‘rare surviving example’ of a workman’s cottage in ‘a prominent location’.

“The loss of this building, at a time when people are far more sensitive towards our history, will be long-felt by local residents, several of whom have already expressed their unhappiness,” he said.

The application has been made by Sally Gardiner, of Station Road, Angmering.

Although the bid to build the two new semi-detached properties has not yet been debated or approved, there is nothing stopping the cottage from possibly being knocked down.

Unlike other homes nearby, the cottage is not yet a listed building.

However, it is included in a list of buildings being proposed for a local listing, to Arun District Council, as part of the village’s neighbourhood plan.

Although this is yet to be formally approved by Arun.

Lesley Wood and her husband Chris, of The Street, are part of a band of residents fighting the demolition plans.

She said: “We’re just absolutely appalled. It’s very frustrating and upsetting.”

She said she was in disbelief when the demolition notice came through her door, last week.

“We were just confused because that was the first that we had heard that this could possibly be permitted,” she added.

The plan for the two new homes is a resubmission, after a previous scheme was thrown-out by Arun’s development control committee, last year.

In that application, Arun’s conservation officer had objected to the destruction of the cottage, which the officer claimed may have dated back to 1851.

Arun District Council has until Wednesday, April 22, to make a decision on the demolition bid.