Victorian building Culvers Lodge in Hackbridge saved thanks to campaign

Sutton Guardian: Victorian building Culvers Lodge in Hackbridge saved thanks to campaign Victorian building Culvers Lodge in Hackbridge saved thanks to campaign

The last remnant of a famous Victorian estate has been saved from the bulldozers after a council U-turn.

Culvers Lodge, on London Road, Hackbridge, had been flagged up as a potential site to be turned into flats, but after a campaign by members of the Beddington Corner Neighbourhood Development Group, the council has backed down.

At last night's Strategy and Resources Committee, the council voted to remove the Lodge from the potential sites for redevelopment for at least six months.

Councillors agreed that the community should have at least six months to work on plans for the site to put it to good use.

At the meeting, Jayne McCoy, chairwoman of the economy and business committee, said: "There is still a need for social housing in the borough, but we have listened to the community on the lodge. We can free the group to look at it in a broader sense."

The Lodge was part of the Culvers Estate owned by Victorian businessman Samuel Gurney and John Peter Gassiot Jnr.

The Gassiot's were the largest supplier of port to the UK, and the family still has a strong historical link to the area as John Peter Gassiot Jnr was laid to rest in Sutton Cemetery.

Potential plans for the building include turning it into a shop, a coffee shop and museum or a potential visitor centre for the proposed Wandle Regional Park.

Campaigners say the news is very positive, but there is a long way to go to transform the building.

Francesca Bellucci, an architect who has been at the heart of the campaign, said: "It's wonderful news, but it is only an open window at the moment. We have a lot of discussions ahead , but I'm pleased the council has seen the value to the community. It has been a real team effort between the group with Bob Steel and the Wandle Forum. This is only the first step, but it's an essential one."

The campaign has had the backing of the Victorian Society and it is hoped the group will be eligible for Heritage Lottery Grants to help the project.

Comments (2)

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11:56pm Tue 12 Feb 13

Wait right there says...

Should it be to protect the value of history or protect the value of what was there. Wallington is built on a civil war battlefield; the name Shotfield descibes the gun shot that was found in it's development. We now have a care home a library and a health centre on that site. We can remember the past without having to leave it standing. Or should the name Wallington step in for Sutton as a whole and lend its etymology as a town of little Britons?
Should it be to protect the value of history or protect the value of what was there. Wallington is built on a civil war battlefield; the name Shotfield descibes the gun shot that was found in it's development. We now have a care home a library and a health centre on that site. We can remember the past without having to leave it standing. Or should the name Wallington step in for Sutton as a whole and lend its etymology as a town of little Britons? Wait right there

2:21pm Wed 13 Feb 13

Simon Densley says...

History is so much more alive when you can see and visit the real things rather than just having to read about what used to be there. Our history is important and our links to our own past should remain a central part our of pride in our local area and our culture. Good work everyone involved.
History is so much more alive when you can see and visit the real things rather than just having to read about what used to be there. Our history is important and our links to our own past should remain a central part our of pride in our local area and our culture. Good work everyone involved. Simon Densley

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