More than 550 residents oppose plans to demolish Edwardian building in Portsmouth for new homes
HUNDREDS of residents are calling for an historic city building to be saved, amid plans to demolish it for housing.
More than 550 people have signed a petition asking for the preservation of the Edwardian records office in Museum Road, Old Portsmouth, which is set to be knocked down by Portsmouth City Council.
The scheme was revealed by the authority earlier this year, with public engagement events held to gather feedback.
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But Gunwharf Quays resident Alvin Edyvane believed demolishing the building should be a last resort. The 47-year-old set up the petition via Change.org.
He said: 'It's an asset of community value sitting in a conservation area next to a beautiful listed building - Portsmouth Museum.
'The council should never have let it fall into a state of disrepair.
'We need to look at all the other historical parts of Portsmouth that are currently unregistered - are they being properly maintained?
'Demolishing the building should be an absolute last resort but it doesn't seem like they've considered anything else.
'I think the best option is to make the necessary repairs and then rent it out to creative businesses to make sure we attract and retain talent in the area.'
Mr Edyvane also thought the public consultation was not wide-reaching enough.
'I was quite disappointed to find out the council had only contacted 250 residents within a half-a-mile radius.'
The council's deputy leader, Councillor Steve Pitt, said: 'The former records office is suffering from major structural issues and has not been in use for seven years.
'Severe subsidence has caused the collapse of the flooring and foundations, which meant the building had to be emptied and the city records moved to another location.
'Part of the structure is currently supported by scaffolding since that time and is unsafe.
'In February this year we invited members of the public to share their views with us on this proposal. A consultation took place, the outcome of which showed support for the site to be considered for housing. We will continue to engage with the local community on any proposals brought forward.
'This will exclude student housing or a high rise, as these were not favoured by the local residents who took part in the consultation .'