Building of the Month November 2021: Anton Laundry, 24 Marlborough Street, Andover, Hampshire SP10 1DQ
The Anton Laundry in Andover has a fascinating history. It is a small industrial complex which lies by the River Anton on the edge of the town centre. The complex includes a grade II listed house (LEN: 1236527), later used as the laundry office, with an 18th century façade. However, the rear gable and interior have exposed timber framework indicating, perhaps, 16th century origins.
It is thought that this complex of buildings was originally part of a tannery which is known to have existed on the site as early as the 15th century. It became a laundry in the latter half of the 19th century and remained so until 2005, when the company moved and the buildings fell into disrepair.
Planning permission and listed building consent were given in 2007 for a mixed-use development for the whole complex, including conversion of the listed building to offices and a new residential block. However, a revised planning application, not including the listed building was granted in 2014. Though minor works were commenced, even this revised scheme has not proceeded.
An arson attack in 2009 caused extensive damage resulting in the loss of a Victorian ancillary building and the levelling of much of the site. A subsequent fire about a year ago did further damage. The condition of the buildings is poor because of water ingress, fire damage, considerable growth of vegetation and several years of neglect as the recent photographs show.
There is now very grave concern about the future of this important and historic site. The Council have recently inspected it to assess what repairs are needed and will approach the owners to discuss what action needs to be taken. However, time is running out and action is needed as soon as possible.