National heritage champion condemns plans to demolish York pub

Rescued from oblivion – the Carlton Tavern. Photograph: YorkMix
10 Sep 2017 @ 8.24 pm
| Environment, History

‘If this can happen in York, there’s no hope for the rest of us’.

That’s the view of Maev Kennedy, Guardian journalist and heritage champion, after she joined the chorus of condemnation against plans to bulldoze the Carlton Tavern.

As reported previously in YorkMix the Carlton Tavern, on Acomb Road, will be demolished if City of York Council planners approve an application for a modern care home to be built on the site.

It’s a proposal that has had everyone from The Victorian Society to York Civic Trust voicing their protest.

And now Maev has come on board too.

‘A fine building’

Could soon be gone…

Now a special writer for the Guardian, Maev used to be its arts and heritage correspondent. She has also written books on history and archaeology.

Although she lives in Twickenham, south west London, she has submitted an objection to Crown Care’s plan to demolish the pub and build a 79 bedroom care home.

“I love York, and I was alerted to this by a local resident with whom I’ve often spoken about conservation and planning issues,” Maev told YorkMix, making clear her criticisms of the York scheme is are done in a personal capacity.

“I feel if lovely York can’t hold the line on the gradual erosion of unlisted but locally precious buildings, there’s no hope for the rest of us. ”

In her planning objection Maev wrote:

This is a fine building, of great local historic interest both for the architect and its earlier use as a children’s home, and despite some insensitive internal alterations, still in good condition and perfectly capable of being converted.

It should already have been listed, but is certainly too good a building to permit casual demolition just because it gives the developer a cheaper and easier clear run at the site.

York problems

An artist’s impression of the care home planned for the site

Maev said that this also reflected a challenge that is particularly prevalent in an historic city like ours.

“I also feel there’s a specific problem in honeypot sites like York, where immense attention is given to the tourist choked historic core, but a far more cavalier approach is permitted in the outer ring where most people actually live,” she said.

“And finally I worry about pubs, genuine community resources disappearing at an alarming rate.”

Since our previous story last month, many more objections have been lodged with City of York Council.

Here’s a sample of some of them.

Please do not destroy this old and characterful piece of York heritage. This fine old building will be replaced by something dull, dreary, and characterless.

– Arno Brooks, The Avenue, Haxby

At the moment, there isn’t much to be proud of in Acomb and demolition of an attractive building seems like a backward step.

– Ged Cooper, Askham Lane

The destruction of this beautiful building, an excellent example of a type once common in Acomb, but now almost absent, should not be allowed.

– Alistair Cross, Beech Grove, York

This pub has served the local community for many years, and has been particularly well used by families. Community spaces such as The Carlton, where social drinking is encouraged, and food & drinks are served for all ages of customer are rare in York.

– George Hanna, Huddleston Road, London