A PETITION to halt the demolition of a well-known building in Hartlepool has been launched online – and already has 500 signatures.
Developers have been given the green light to demolish Tunstall Court, in the West Park area of Hartlepool, and work is expected to start within weeks.
Hartlepool Borough Council’s planning committee agreed to the demolition by five votes to three – much to the delight of nearby residents who say the arson-hit building has “blighted” their lives.
But there has been dismay from heritage and conservation groups who want to save the building from the wrecking ball.
News of the proposed demolition has reached The Victorian Society, and an online petition launched by one of its members, Phil Evans.
The group has added the historic property to its top 10 most endangered buildings list.
And the campaign is already boasting 500 signatures from people who want to protect the building from being razed to the ground.
Mr Evans wrote on the online petition page: “Tunstall Court has been added to The Victorian Society’s top 10 endangered buildings.
“Kristian Kaminski, conservation adviser for the Victorian Society says Hartlepool has lost so many of its Victorian buildings. Let’s stop this mindless destruction and save our heritage. This is an important building and should be restored to preserve Hartlepool’s proud Victorian legacy.”
Tunstall Court - which is not listed but is classed as “locally significant” – has been plagued by vandals and arsonists.
But owners, Ruttle North East, now have permission to turn the site into 14 executive homes.
Mr Evans plans to send the petition to Ruttle North East to show the strength of feeling against its destruction. The historic building was formerly used as a school and council training centre but then transferred into private ownership.
Tunstall Court, deemed a dangerous building by the council’s building control team, is an undesignated heritage asset within the Park Conservation Area.