Fall of large family houses

I share the regret of councillor Peter Evans and of other members of Chichester City Council at the proposed demolition of this fine Mock Tudor (aka Tudor Revival) house in Lavant Road, Summersdale (report on page 2 of the Chichester Observer for 13 September and fuller on-line report).

Despite several letters of objection by members of the public at the loss of this house, the councillors’ concerns have already been overtaken by events.

Because the city council supported the revised plans for a block of flats but made no comment about the loss of the house, the district council’s planning officer under delegated powers gave approval on 31 August for demolition of the house and erection of the flats.

The district council deemed it unnecessary for this application to be decided by the planning committee and as a result, objectors such as myself had no opportunity to put their views in front of the committee.

21 Lavant Road was one of a number of Tudor Revival houses almost certainly designed by local architect Harry Osborn, whose own house, the Tudor House, 7 Lavant Road, fortunately still exists.

Whatever one’s opinion about what are usually termed Mock Tudor houses, they form part of Summersdale’s heritage and their loss will further erode the character of this fine tree lined approach to the historic city and to the South Downs National Park.

Already for many years Summersdale’s large family houses have been falling like ninepins.

The pressure for more and smaller homes within in the city is increasing and as none of them are listed or are within a conservation area, it is only a matter time before they are all gone.

John Templeton, Washington Street, Chichester