CAMPAIGNERS say they won’t give up the fight to save a town’s oldest building – despite the green light being given to demolish it.
People in Waterlooville begged Havant Borough Council to save Swiss Cottage, in St George’s Walk, which was built around the time of the Battle of Waterloo – which is where the town got its name.
This is not the end. I still believe Swiss Cottage can be saved.Lewes Price
Last month the town celebrated the 200th anniversary of the battle and support to save Swiss Cottage was galvanised.
But last night the council’s planning committee voted to give the go ahead to First Wessex to bulldoze the building, and the property next door, and turn them into a single, four-storey block with 14 flats and office space.
Councillors’ hands were tied because outline planning permission for a very similar development was already given in 2013.
Lewes Price, of Hambledon Road, asked councillors to consider adjourning the hearing until Historic England – which protects historic buildings – had made a decision on whether to list the building. But his plea was ignored.
Mr Price said: ‘This is not the end. I still believe that Swiss Cottage can be saved.
‘Historic England has not made a decision yet and I think that with a bit more digging I will be able to find the original covenant.
‘It seems very odd to me that, despite all the development that has taken place in Waterlooville precinct over the years, Swiss Cottage has not been touched.
‘Perhaps back in the 1950s they knew something about it that we do not? Perhaps it does have some covenant protection.’
Although a request has been made to Historic England, the council’s own conservation officer is doubtful that it will be afforded listed status.
Only the facade remains from the original building which is dilapidated inside.
The floor is held up with props, the cellar is flooded and the walls are cracked.