PEOPLE are begging the council to save Waterlooville’s oldest surviving building from demolition.
A last-ditch campaign has been launched to save the 180-year-old Swiss Cottage in St George’s Walk.
It comes as pride in Waterlooville is higher than ever following the 200th anniversary celebrations last month.
The building has been earmarked for demolition for two years since developers won outline permission to knock it down – together with the building next door – and build a four-storey development with ground-floor offices and 11 flats above.
But fresh plans were submitted to Havant Borough Council for 14 flats earlier this year.
Councillors have been recommended by officers to approve the new development at a meeting tomorrow at The Plaza from 5pm.
The campaign to save it was started by James Alderson, but now has many supporters.
Havant Area Over-50s Forum, which helped to save the White Hart Pub in Havant, has joined the fight.
Jackie Bampton said: ‘It’s a feature and it’s wonderful.
‘It could be turned into a little tea room or museum. Keep our old buildings, it’s our heritage.’
Dozens of strongly-worded letters have been sent to the council – several suggesting the building could become a museum for Waterlooville.
Ros Bailey, from Wecock Farm, wrote: ‘It is such a shame, when we are celebrating our 200th anniversary, to put such a blight on the occasion.’
Steven Jackson, from Waterlooville, said: ‘The council should listen to the people of Waterlooville and realise they don’t want any more historic buildings demolished.’
Charlotte Alderson, from Denmead, said: ‘Why not cherish this building and leave a lasting memory of the town and its history by making this the town museum?
‘A lovely gesture to the town to celebrate 200 years.’
The council’s conservation officer said the building has ‘local value’ but does not believe its features would merit listed status from English Heritage.
A report adds: ‘The development will result in the loss of a building of some limited historic interest which has garnered public attention.
‘However, the intrinsic quality of the building; the existence of the extant planning permission; and the availability of permitted development rights together mean that the loss of the building per se could not form a sustainable reason to resist the proposal.’