Council ‘failed to protect’ historic Isle cottage

St Martin's Church in Owston Ferry

Part of the Isle’s history has been lost because it was not protected by North Lincolnshire Council, claims Britain’s oldest conservation charity.

A now-demolished Grade II listed cottage on Church Street, Owston Ferry, should have been safeguarded by the council, said the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.

The cottage, number 13, was classified as a dangerous structure in mid-August this year and was subsequently demolished. But the SPAB believes the council missed opportunities to protect it.

The charity stated: “The loss of this humble historic building, left empty for years, is deeply regrettable. 13 Church Street should not have been allowed to fall into a state of disrepair as planning legislation provides local authorities with the statutory powers to make ‘at risk’ listed buildings weather-tight, structurally sound and secure.”

Councils in England and Wales are obliged to notify the SPAB of applications involving the demolition of listed buildings. SPAB offered expert advice on the repair of the cottage and wanted to discuss taking on the building in order to save it for the future. All offers of help were ignored and the SPAB were denied access to the property to complete a full assessment.

The unnecessary destruction of the cottage outraged Owston Ferry local, Glyn Brumby, who said: “I objected strongly to the application for demolition. It was a very old building – most likely older than the estimated 18th century and was very close to the church in Owston Ferry, inan area where historical buildings should be valued. I’m extremely disappointed that a listed building has been allowed to be demolished.”

SPAB Case Worker Joanne Needham said: “We have worked hard to try and save this Grade II-listed building. Legislation and national policy provide a clear framework for ensuring the historic environment is properly managed and conserved. Yet this has not proven successful in this case. Questions must be asked, and lessons learnt in order to prevent other historic buildings becoming susceptible to a similar fate. The historic environment is a finite and irreplaceable resource. Once lost it can never be recovered”

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