Local historian, David Cemlyn says of this decision by Historic England:
I am very disappointed that the application to Historic England for a grade 2 listed status on the old police and fire station in Somerville Road has been unsuccessful.
There seem to be a couple of reasons. Firstly that the building is not yet under direct threat of demolition and that it is not important enough to be listed. I strongly disagree with both points. Only this week George Osborne has told local authorities to sell anything they can to raise money for essential services like social care. The police station will be sold to the highest bidder. To make full use of the site for development, demolition is going to be the main option. With luck we might get a small bit of the frontage saved. I cannot find another example of an early 20th century police and fire station largely
intact. It is sad to think that part of our heritage faces the bulldozer. I am not sure I have the strength to take on another battle after 4 years of trying to get a good deal for the community on the north Bristol swimming pool. However I am very willing to join in some form of community action if someone will take the lead.
Below is Historic England's letter to David, setting out the case for refusing his application for listed Grade 2 status for the Old Police Station:
26 November 2015
Dear Mr Cemlyn,
Police Station, Fire Station and Police House, North Road, Bristol, BS6 5AH.
Thank you for your application for the assessment of the Police Station, Fire Station and Police House for listing. We appreciate your time and enthusiasm spent considering places that could be added to the National Heritage List for England.
We have now carefully considered the contents of your application. Unfortunately, the current circumstances of the Police Station, Fire Station and Police House do not fall into any of the three categories used by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to prioritise designation resources on those sites that are most in need of protection. Those
- Threat: any candidate for designation demonstrably under serious threat of demolition or major alteration
- Strategic Priority: any candidate for designation of a type that is a strategic designation priority under the Historic England Action Plan, Historic England’s programme of strategic work. You can find a list of this year’s projects on our website
- Evident Significance: any building or site that possesses evident significance that makes it obviously worthy of inclusion on the National Heritage List for England.
Historic England is therefore currently unable to take your application further. Should the situation change, particularly with regard to any specific threat to the building, you could submit a new application in the future.
There are other approaches to the protection of this building that you can take. Your local authority can advise you on the local designation options available, and you may wish to speak to your local Historic Environment Records Officer or conservation group for advice on such matters. Please click on the link below to download our 'Frequently Asked
Questions' document for further information:
Please consult our website for more information at historic england
We are sorry if this is a disappointing response. Historic England
administers a large number of applications for designation on behalf of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The Department has decided that the finite resources availablefor the assessment of designation applications have to be prioritised to the categories most in need of attention. All applications are rigorously assessed on their individual merits - please see our website for further explanation of the criteria used to decide on designation, and for guidance on submitting designation applications. Answers to additional questions that you may have can also be found in the 'Frequently Asked Questions' document.
Designation Co-ordinator - West Historic England
Designation Team West
29 Queen Square
Bristol BS1 4ND