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Planning control extended for historic buildings

Published on 24 July 2015

LEICESTER City Council has decided to confirm its ‘article 4 direction’ on a group of historic buildings in the city centre.

The 19th-century properties, at 122-132 Belgrave Gate and 1 Garden Street, include what is thought to be one of Leicester’s last remaining ‘one-up, one-down’ cottages.

The properties escaped demolition during the city’s programme of slum clearance in the 1930s. In February this year, the current owner of the land applied to the council for permission to demolish the buildings.

However, the city council applied what is known as an ‘article 4 direction’, which allowed more time for the council to consider the historical significance of the properties.

An article 4 direction means the owners must to apply for full planning permission if they want to demolish the buildings, which would then be considered through the council’s planning process.

The original article 4 direction is due to expire next month (August), but the city council has now decided to make it permanent, so that the owners will have to apply for planning permission if they want to demolish the buildings at any time.

The decision comes after the city council asked for people’s views on the buildings and received 22 objections to demolition.

City mayor Peter Soulsby said: “I’m pleased that people got the chance to comment on these buildings as part of our consultation. Although they are in a poor state of repair, they represent an important piece of social history and offer us a unique link to the city’s past.

“It’s important that any decision made over the future of these buildings is a carefully considered one.”

Andrew Smith, the city council’s director of planning, added: “We are in ongoing discussions with the owners over a sympathetic redevelopment of this site. Once a planning application is received for these proposals, the public will have a further opportunity to comment.”