Allbrook House and the library – why demolish them?
At the recent Alton Regeneration Watch meeting of 6th May, a question was asked as to the progress of the listing of Allbrook House and the library. Since this has been raised it was thought the following background information to these buildings might be interest.
Once you’ve read the following, maybe the question of the Council and our Councillors should be – “Why are these buildings being demolished?” and “How many times will the same question be asked of the residents?”.
Wandsworth Council Paper 12-463
“Allbrook House contains 45 residential units ((3 x1 bed , 42 x2 bed) of which nine have been sold. Beneath the block is Roehampton Library with a well-used car park at the rear. The block is structurally sound but there is scope for redevelopment around the site either by additions to the block or by demolition and redevelopment”.
[Source: Wandsworth Council Paper 12-463 ]
Twentieth Century Society
“Among the buildings earmarked for removal are the Allbrook House slab block and the estate’s library – both of which the Twentieth Century Society said it would seek to protect. Parts of the estate are already contained in the Alton Conservation Area, which includes grade I and grade II* listed 18th Century houses as well as 10 grade II-listed point blocks and five grade II* listed slab blocks.
The Twentieth Century Society said it supported the general aim of regenerating the estate, but believed Wandsworth’s approach was wrong. Case officer Clare Price said the majority of the estate’s problems were due to neglect rather than its buildings: ‘We think that a sensitive refurbishment that carefully conserves the heritage of the buildings on site should be enough to achieve what Wandsworth wants.”
The Putney Society
“6. The Society played its part in the review, three years ago, of the Alton Estate conservation area. One conclusion of that review was that the boundary of the conservation area should be extended to take in Roehampton Library and Allbrook House above it, together with the green space and established trees between these buildings and Roehampton Lane. We believe that this view is shared by many in Roehampton. These buildings are, we consider, worthy of being added to the council’s local list of buildings of architectural and historic interest: they are a distinctive composition enhancing the entrance to the Alton Estate at this point. If the five slab blocks adjoining Clarence Lane are worthy of being listed Grade II*, then the similarly detailed Allbrook House should be considered for listing by English Heritage. It is equally distinguished”.
[Source: The Putney Society response to the Council regarding the regeneration, 19 September 2012]
The Labour Party
“The whole council plan rests on the demolition of Allbrook House, the “landmark” block above Roehampton Library. This is the one question where there was no majority opposition to the council plan, but a clear plurality – 45% – don’t want the block demolished. Barely a third – 34% – supported demolition and a sizeable number – 21% – didn’t feel able to give a view. We had 21 surveys back from the parts of Danebury Avenue, including Allbrook House, under threat of demolition. Of these, 4 supported demolition and 14 opposed it.
It’s a great shame that the Council never even considered improving Allbrook House, which contains some large properties within it with spectacular views of Roehampton. Recladding or even more radical remodelling of Allbrook House could transform this block – the gateway to the Alton estate”.
[Source: Stuart King’s Roehampton redevelopment survey results 2008]
Email us at – firstname.lastname@example.org – and let us know of any concerns/thoughts you may have or add a comment at the end of the blog entry in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section.
Or email your Roehampton and Putney Heath Councillors at;
Peter Carpenter – email@example.com
Jeremy Ambache – JAmbache@wandsworth.gov.uk
Sue McKinney – SMcKinney@wandsworth.gov.uk
Or email the Wandsworth Council team managing the ‘regeneration’
Team Roehampton – Roehampton@wandsworth.gov.uk