Text from SAVE letter to Elvian School:
SAVE Britain’s Heritage is deeply dismayed to learn of the plans by Elvian School to demolish two handsome Victorian villas - Rotherfield Grange and Oakland Hall.
SAVE has campaigned for historic buildings for over 30 years and, during that time, we have shown how a wide range of building types, from police stations to mills, can be successfully converted to a number of new uses. For the school to claim that these two substantial, well designed and well maintained houses are ‘not capable for conversion to a viable form of use’ is patently absurd.
SAVE is also concerned that the fact that the building has been turned down for listing is being used as an argument for its destruction. This is akin to claiming that a painting is worthless as it is not in a national collection – there are thousands of good quality buildings all over the country which do not make the listing grade but are of architectural and historic value, and help define local character.
Reading has lost too many good buildings over the last few decades and cannot afford to lose more. We urge the school to show some imagination and vision and integrate these two villas into the plans for the new school. To lose them would be a tragedy.