An old building opposite Morrison's supermarket, at 74-76 High Street, has been given permission to have its superstructure demolished as it is now unsafe. But in a twist to the decision, it has been made absolutely clear to the applicants that removal of the foundations would be subject to a separate planning application.
The "Oddmans" building was of special interest to a heritage group in Houghton Regis, but the building did not have any protection in law, such as Listed Building status. A planning application to redevelop the site for apartments was turned down last year.
The applicant had noted that the building was of historical significance from its social context and form of construction, but added that "it has been extensively modified over the years and only retains part of the original construction". They also expressed the feeling that "the value of attempting to retain the redundant building in its current form is not felt to outweigh the need and value of replacing this very unsightly and dangerous site".
DECISION BY CBC:
"Given the archaeological interest in the site the Council is concerned to control the removal of the building foundations as part of a planning application. As confirmed in writing by the planning agent, the applicant is reminded that this demolition notification relates only to the removal of building superstructures on site. For the avoidance of doubt, the Council's confirmation that prior approval will not be required for the method of demolition does not infer the right to remove the building foundations as part of the demolition works. The Council's further express planning permission is required for the removal of the building foundations in connection with the redevelopment of the site."