A PROFESSIONAL funnyman has made a serious plea to save a historic building from being demolished.
Developers have submitted a planning application to knock down 180-year-old Swiss Cottage, in St George’s Walk, Waterlooville, and the building next door, and turn them into offices and 14 flats.
Swiss Cottage is the oldest building in Waterlooville town centre but it is not listed.
James Alderson, who has been leading calls to mark the 200th anniversary of Waterlooville this summer, wants to preserve it.
Permission has already been granted by Havant Borough Council for it to be knocked down and replaced with 11 flats but new plans are now in the pipeline.
Mr Alderson intends to start a campaign to save it for the town.
The dad-of-two, said: ‘Legend has it that on the way back to Portsmouth Harbour the heroes of that battle stopped at a pub that was in a hamlet and they decided to stay and settle.
‘It’s so sad that so many of our old buildings have disappeared, knocked down in the 1960s and continue to be knocked down.
‘Swiss Cottage is very. very special indeed. And it’s so sad that in our 200th year it could be flattened.
‘I believe it may have been a toll cottage.
‘Whatever it was, it’s the oldest building in Waterlooville town centre and it would be devastating to lose it.
‘It feels that, one building after another, the council has decided to get rid of Waterlooville’s past.
‘Not many people realise that it was founded in the same year that we won the Battle of Waterloo.
‘But we must do all we can to preserve it and in the year of the anniversary we must act.’
A video of Mr Alderson’s plea has been watched 13,000 times on the Facebook page About Waterlooville.
And a petition to save it has also been launched on the site.
The Citizens Advice Bureau in Swiss Cottage will be offered a new home in the new building, if it goes ahead.
Les Weymes, the planning consultant for the site, said: ‘It is an intrinsic building which perhaps is out of place with the locality. It is in poor structural condition and is not listed.’