The Government is planning to remove legal protection from listed buildings in Britain. The provisions are contained in draft legislation which will encourage local authorities to demolish listed buildings on economic or social grounds. This legislation threatens numerous buildings including 19 in the Redcar district alone.
Local conservationist Alex Stamp said "to remove legal protection is unacceptable and an astonishing indication of the Governments hostility where distinguished architecture is concerned., the idea that local Councils could demolish buildings such as Redcar clock, Saltburn war memorial or Middlesbrough railway station when they like will be a shock to local people. Professional bodies are already describing the move as a "wreckers charter".
Liberal Democrat prospective MP for Redcar Ian Swales is taking up the cause. He said "I was saddened but not surprised when I heard of these proposals. The Labour Government's changes to Planning Laws are all designed to make demolition easy, smooth the way for developers and take local people out of the process. They have set up the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol who regularly allow developments despite local opposition. Redcar Lane, Redcar and Church Lane, Eston are two recent examples. They have also set up the Infrastructure Planning Commission who will be able to sanction nuclear power stations, airport runways and other large structures without reference to local people. Now they want to be able to bulldoze any of our fine old buildings that stand in their way".