The writing's on the billboard in battle to save Georgian house in Blackburn

SAVE has joined a campaign, spearheaded by the Georgian Group, to preserve a listed 1780s house in Blackburn which stands in the way of a proposed link road. The fight to save 53 King Street has now hit the headlines thanks to an ingenious publicity stunt in which a huge advertising billboard next the house rented for weeks by the campaigners.

The Grade II listed house on King Street, most recently a police station, is on the edge of Blackburn’s ‘Georgian quarter’ but now stands isolated following the loss of adjacent buildings. Now the council is proposing to flatten the house in order to make way for a new road which campaigners argue can be routed elsewhere.

An application for ‘sensitive demolition’ was submitted last year drawing strong objections from SAVE, the Georgian Group and the Heritage Trust for the North West. The application was refused and an alternative route for the road has been suggested, but the future of the building historic remains uncertain.

To help the campaign SAVE put the Georgian Group in touch with architect Huw Thomas, who produced a scheme showing the restored building reunited with its Georgian context, linked by sensitive infill. The Huw Thomas design was on the giant billboard to illustrate an alternative to the demolition plans. Click here to see the Georgian Group blog.

Robert Bargery, Director of The Georgian Group said ‘There are alternative routes for the road. We need to avoid the one that’s most destructive to our built heritage. The message from us is clear: Blackburn can have the link road and keep this historic building.’ For further information visit the Georgian Group website.

SAVE has included 53 King Street in this year’s buildings at risk catalogue Live or Let Die (order) SAVE has vowed to continue the fight on to prevent the wasteful and short-sighted demolition of this important building.