Old Building on High Street Being Torn Apart

An old building on the High Street, opposite Houghton Regis' Morrisons store currently appears to be being destroyed. These pictures were taken this afternoon. The roof is already off, and there is a considerable amount of rubble inside the building.

74-76 High Street. 1 Feb 2013. ©A D Winter

74-76 High Street. 1 Feb 2013. ©A D Winter

The building is not listed and is located outside the Houghton Regis Conservation area, but it is recognised as a Building of Local Importance with no statutory protection.

An application to demolish the building, and replace it with flats was made last year, (CB/12/03259 - 74 76 High Street Houghton Regis Dunstable LU5 5BJ) but the application was turned down by Central Bedfordshire Council planning department on 4th December 2012, primarily on issues to do with traffic.

One objector to the original planning application wrote, "How can change of use now mean demolition? Houghton Regis has lost too many of its historical buildings. Please restore this building instead of destroying it."

Houghton Regis Town Council objected to the planning application, stating that the proposal was "an over development of the site", would "further increase traffic onto a busy High Street", and would mean "the loss of a potential retail unit".

The planning officers refusal statement can be read in full online.


UPDATE 20 Feb 2013: A prior notification of demolition for the building has been submitted to Central Bedfordshire Council.  The applicants have stated that the building is in such a poor condition that it is unsafe.  Following removal of the first floor, demolition has now ceased while the application is being considered.