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Malvern Civic Society News

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Final call for entries for building design award

7 March 2017

Malvern Civic Society is putting a final call out for entries to its Civic Award which recognises buildings - old or new - which add 'something special to the built environment of the area'. 

 

John Dixon, who organises the Award for the Society explains: 

"This is an opportunity to recognise the architects, builders, and craftsman whose work has gone into the design and build of a property, or to its conversion. 

 

"The winner will receive a small plaque which has become highly regarded by Malvern’s builders and developers. It may also present the opportunity for some publicity, if desired."

 

He adds: "The Civic Award has been running for over 20 years now. Last year’s nominations included one newly built development, two renovations of large Victorian houses, and three quite radical renovations which completely changed the character of the original buildings. The winner was Elmslie House (pictured above) on Avenue Road. In 2015, the Civic Award was made to Malvern Link train station."

 

For a building to be eligible, the work on the property must have been finished before 31 December 2016. 

 

Nomination is simple: contact Malvern Civic Society’s John Dixon on vicechair3@malverncivicsociety.org.uk or by phone on 01684 574144, before 31 March 2017.. 

 

 

MHDC's Rejection of Application Concerning the Depot in Priory Road

20 February 2017

 

A planning application on the Depot in Priory Road has been rejected by MHDC's Southern Area Development Committee. This application was to restore No.10 Priory Road and Garden House, and to demolish No.12 Priory Road (known as The Coach House). A 3-storey apartment block was also to have been built on the site, adjacent to the eastern boundary of Priory Park. 

 

Clive Hooper, Chairman of Malvern Civic Society, said: "I am delighted that the District Council has rejected the planning application concerning the Depot in Priory Road. The whole of the uppermost floor of the proposed apartment block would have been visible over the top of the wall. This would have significantly obstructed the splendid eastern view from the park, and also affected the privacy of park users. It is good to note that MHDC has listened to the objections which have been raised about this application." 

 

He continued: "The Civic Society has strongly supported the advice of Historic England, and particularly the Victorian Society, in opposing the proposed demolition of The Coach House. This would have resulted in the loss of a notable historic building and unjustified harm to the significance of the Malvern Conservation Area." 

 

As the NPPF [National Planning Policy Framework] makes clear, developments within conservation areas should respond to local character and history, and reflect the identity of local surroundings and materials; account should also be taken of the desirability of sustaining and enhancing the significance of heritage assets and putting them to viable uses consistent with their conservation. 

 

Mr Hooper concluded: "The rejection of the planning application is a victory for those who care about the town's wonderful heritage. It should also now give the applicant, with the Council's support, the opportunity to explore the option of re-designing proposals, including retaining and converting The Coach House, so as to preserve its intrinsic merits and the positive contribution it makes to the Malvern Conservation Area."

 

 

 

Future of Hayslan Fields 

REJECTION OF 'ASSET OF COMMUNITY VALUE' APPLICATION

14 February 2017

 

The application made by Malvern Civic Society for designating Hayslan Fields as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) has been rejected by Malvern Hills District Council (MHDC). 

 

Clive Hooper, Chairman of Malvern Civic Society, said: "There is no appeal against the decision which is understood to be made by a panel of MHDC officers under the control of the Community Services Department: there is no elected member involvement in the process, unlike the practice in other authorities. There is, however, provision for groups to make a complaint if they consider that the correct procedure has not been followed. 

 

"In the circumstances, the Civic Society will be lodging a complaint on the grounds that the conclusions reached are not consistent with the requirements of Section 88 of the Localism Act, nor MHDC's stated views regarding the Fields' value to the community as amenity land; so therefore the authority has misdirected itself, and its procedure has been flawed." 

 

The Localism Act 2011 provides for buildings or land to be protected where it can be demonstrated that they are used for furthering the social well-being or social interests of the local community, or have been used to do so in the recent past and could do so in the future. Once ACV status has been conferred, it means that if the 'asset' is ever offered for sale, then the local community is given the opportunity to make a bid to buy it. 

 

Mr Hooper explains: "In the case of Hayslan Fields, this would have meant that more protection could have been given to the land, in addition to that which has been secured through the recent public inquiry and through MHDC's own designation of the area as having QL2 status (signifying its value to the health and well-being of the community as amenity land) and subsequently in the South Worcestershire Development Plan when the fields were designated Green Space. 

 

"I'm sure the local community will be as disappointed as I am with the rejection of the application. The reason given was that 'the nomination does not meet the definition of an asset of community value as set out in section 88 of the Act', and that 'the nominated area of land is private property with no evident permissions for access other than the Public Rights of Ways, as marked'. 

 

"It seems that the MHDC officers are implying that there is no actual current use of the land, and therefore no furtherance of the social well-being or social interests of the local community. Yet these Rights of Way pass through the fields, giving access to them, and the community clearly is enjoying and benefiting from them." 

 

"The rejection also goes against the comments made by the Appeal Inspector in her report after the public inquiry which rejected the application to develop the land for housing. She had noted that 'I find that the area of Hayslan Fields proposed for development is significant in helping to meet the existing community's needs for access to and across open space for recreational purposes and for health and well-being'."

 

 

 

Old Community Hospital

3 October 2016

In May this year, Malvern Hills District Council (MHDC) had refused a planning application submitted in 2015 to demolish the former Malvern Community Hospital in Lansdowne Crescent and replace it with a 50 bed care home. That decision fully supported the strong stand Malvern Civic Society has maintained for the retention of this heritage asset.Clive Hooper, Chairman of Malvern Civic Society, commented "The Society has argued that if the proposals were implemented they would have an adverse impact upon the town's historic environment and would result in substantial harm to 

the Great Malvern Conservation Area. This applies equally to the new planning application recently submitted to MHDC. The building is in good order and not in a ruinous state and should be kept. The Society's Planning Sub-Committee discussed the new plans at its meeting on 28 September and will be writing formally to MHDC." Mr Hooper went on to say "Malvern Civic Society has always recognised the local importance of the old hospital building, and this is reflected by the building's submission by the Society to MHDC, together with other properties, for consideration for its Local Listing. We also recognise the value which MHDC has attached to preserving the building: it produced a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) in 2006 outlining the desirability of keeping it." 

 

"The new planning application submitted by the developers, Montpellier Estates, notes that they had prepared a paper 'to prove that the existing hospital could not be viably converted to residential housing due to the physical and financial constraints imposed by the existing building'. Evidence submitted on this as part of the consultation process was flawed and completely failed to make the case. We understand that there are other developers keen to purchase the property in order to convert it into residential accommodation, but that they are currently locked out from making an offer to purchase it by the NHS trust through the agreement it has with Montpellier." 

 

"Mention is made in the current application of the MHDC's planning policy SWDP 6 on the Historic Environment: this requires that development proposals should conserve and enhance the significance of heritage assets including their setting, which includes conservation areas and undesignated heritage assets. However, no mention is made of the SPD in this context, or the extensive report from Historic England, both of which underline the desirability of retaining the building." 

 

Malvern Civic Society had previously campaigned for the old community hospital to be given a Grade II statutory listing. The former hospital was built between 1909-11 by William Henman FRIBA and was given to the people of Malvern by local benefactor C. W. Dyson Perrins; it has heritage connections with development of hospital architecture and interesting innovative technological features (such as the early use of reinforced concrete) and quality design and internal fittings. Historic England's criteria for assessing whether a building should be added to the national heritage list for England is that the building in question should be under serious threat or have national significance if built after 1840. As the former hospital was at risk of demolition, it fitted the criteria for assessment as under threat. The Secretary of State had concluded that the building was not nationally significant enough to have statutory listing, but that it was protected under local policy and was in the Conservation Area. However, the report accompanying the minister's decision, in noting the strong local architectural interest of the building, did mention 'its strong local presence, expressed in the scale and massing of its design, its quality features, and its local historic significance, which was recognised by its inclusion in the conservation area'. 

 

Clive Hooper, Chairman. 

 

 

 

Civic Week 2016

Saturday 25 June - Saturday 2 July 2016

Dudley Brook unveiling plaque commemorating site of medieval parish church of St Thomas and Spytalway (now Church Street)

After walking down from Belle Vue Island to Malvern Theatres behind Mike Fray, our Town Crier, our President, Dudley Brook, welcomed everyone to the Opening Ceremony, including Harriett Baldwin, our MP. Councillor Hannah Campbell, the Deputy Mayor, opened the proceedings and then Councillor John Raine, Chairman of Malvern Hills District Council, presented the prizes for the Malvern Civic Society’s Schools’ Literary Competition. 

 

The overall winner was Seb Roberts from The Elms, the Secondary Schools’ winner was Thomas Winters from the Chase and the Primary Schools’ winner was Elizabeth Jacob from Malvern Parish – congratulations to them all. This was followed by the unveiling of the Mulberry tree in Priory Park by Di Foster from Malvern, Australia.

Priory exhibitions: people watching 3d slideshow of 2016 MSA well dressings, (note the 3D glasses).

The Bands in the Park on Sunday was slightly damp but the stalwarts remained to listen to the excellent Cinderford Brass band, to eat cake from the WI stand and to take part in the raffles and tombola of the Guides and Rotary. The Malvern Beavers produced 12 entries for the Garden Competition. We awarded 2 prizes, one for the best decorated yoghurt pot and the second for the best flowers. The title had been a bunch of flowers for the Queen’s 90th birthday. This was all due to the splendid efforts of their pack leader Heather Oldroyd whose Beavers gave a dull day a splash of colour.

The owners of Elmslie, Anna and Bernard Taylor

The Week gave us the chance to visit The Dell House in Malvern Wells, the house and garden including a Victorian summerhouse and some wonderful tree sculptures.  Elmslie, Avenue Road, which was presented with the Civic Society's 2016 Award a few days earlier, was the other house which drew people to appreciate its marvellous restoration and to see the slides of Bygone Malvern. 

 

There were some splendid talks, two of which were held in the Malvern College Lewis Science Theatre: Paula Byrne on her best seller 'Kick' about Kathleen 'Kick' Kennedy; Ben Cowell, Director General of the Historic Houses Association about 'Saving Country Houses';

 

Rosamund Wallinger showing wonderful photos of her Gertrude Jekyll designed garden, which she has restored and has become an expert on Gertrude Jekyll’s life and art;

Robert Payne portrayed Francis Kilvert

In Malvern Priory, Robert Payne portrayed Francis Kilvert, the curate diarist, with candle, pen and diary, reading excerpts, with Andrew Huntley playing the narrator of his life.

 

Churches were open, there were displays and tea and cakes, gardens were open for NGS, The Malvern Heritage Trail Quiz was launched and can be bought at the Museum or TIC. Concerts were held at Malvern Priory and Christ Church.

 

Water Cure Re-enactment, the "descending douche", with Dr John Harcup as Dr Wilson, Ken Crump as Bath Attendant and David Armitage as Patient.

The Malvern Bookshop Co-operative hosted an evening with Colin Clifford in ‘Remembering the Somme’ and Malvern Spa Association re-enacted the Cold Water Cure, Dr John Harcup aka Dr Wilson and David Armitage as the victim in the bath and wet sheets. 

 

It was a busy, full week of interesting events.

Special thanks are due to our sponsors – the Town Council, the District Council and the Great Malvern Hotel without whose help the Week would not have been possible.  The purpose of Civic Week is to showcase the activities of community groups in the town who use the programme publicity to raise funds.

 

Of special mention are the Bygones Evening which raised £700 for the Malvern Museum and the Kilvert Talk which raised £200 for the work of the Friends of Great Malvern Priory. Last and not least, the Committee would like to thank all those people who bought tickets for the events and/or came to support us, not always in the most clement conditions.

 

 

Malvern Civic Award 2016 decision

For over twenty years Malvern Civic Society has been making an annual Civic Award. We are always on the look-out for new or renovated buildings, completed during the previous year, which add something special to the built environment of the area. The award is only a small plaque but it is highly regarded by the winning owners, builders and developers. Last year's winner was the new Malvern Link railway station and we were hoping for nominations of similar high quality this year. We were not disappointed. 

 

There were six nominations - one newly built development, two renovations of large Victorian houses, and three more radical renovations which completely changed the character of their original buildings.

The new development is Nightingale Court in Jenny Lind Grove, Malvern Link. Roy Pendleton of Court Properties and his designer Steven Salisbury achieved the difficult feat of fitting two 3-bedroomed duplex units and two 2-bedroomed apartments into the ground plan of a small chapel which existed there before, without sacrificing space or convenience. The new building fits in well with the quiet, residential character of the area.

No 8 The Lees (off Thirlstane Road) is one of the Victorian houses which has been renovated. Tom Wood inherited this fine house, built in 1889, which, apart from a rear extension added in the 1920s, has survived almost unchanged. It has been a labour of love for Tom to manage a total renovation both inside and out using local expertise. Architect Marcus Cleaver, builders Jeremy Dean and Horizon 

Construction, stonemason James Robinson, carpenters Mark Davies and Steve Taine and metalworker D.A. Walton have all been involved. An elegant and spacious family home and garden have been brought back to life with much thoughtful and painstaking work.

The other Victorian house is Elmslie House in Avenue Road. This has had a significant history. It was designed and built in 1862 by the distinguished Malvern architect E.W. Elmslie, with ornamentation both inside and out by the Worcester sculptor William Forsyth. It went through several changes of ownership and name until it was bought in 2013 by Anna and Bernard Taylor. They have carried out a thorough and careful renovation of both the house 

and the garden, using local architect Steve Davies and a team of local craftsmen including Pegasus Joinery, Steve Allard the stonemason, the Swinbourne brothers, Morgan the blacksmith and the glazier Malcolm Wicherley. The house has now regained its original Victorian splendour but is also a delightful family home.

No 17 Imperial Road was a nondescript 1960s bungalow. Behind the façade the living area has now been more than doubled by owner Owen Law, assisted by local builders Simon Rowe and Jeremy Dean, creating a spacious, modern home.

The Razak Science Centre, named after a former pupil who is now prime minister of Malaysia, is a truly impressive addition to Malvern College. Two existing science buildings, one built in the 1930s and the other in the 1960s, have been completely renovated and modernised and connected together by a new component which contains a state-of-the-art lecture theatre. The architects were Squire and Brown and 

the work was carried out by Keir Construction. The overall impression is of space and light.

The apartment building called 'The Corner' has made a dramatic appearance at the junction of Christchurch and Court Roads. There was a dull three-storey structure here before. Now developer Ben Guthrie and Matt Banks of Glazzard Architects have transformed it by clever outside styling and radical internal planning. Bricklayers Brooke and Poynton, Walter Electrical and W.P. Plastering have created a striking, modernist building which improves the character of the whole area. 

It was difficult to compare these six very different structures but, in the end, the committee's unanimous decision was that the 2016 award should go to Elmslie House. This iconic Victorian mansion has been saved for posterity; the craftsmanship and attention to detail have been superb and, as the owners are keen to arrange a series of public events in the house, the whole community can enjoy what has been achieved. The winner's plaque will be presented to Anna and Bernard as part of Malvern's Civic Week events. (John Dixon, Chair of Civic Award Sub-Committee)

 

 

 

Friends of Malvern's Railway: 

Great Malvern Station - Clock Tower Project

7 February 2016

English Heritage has rated Great Malvern Station in the top ten stations in the country. The Group, which is part of Malvern Civic Society, is aiming to improve the station's appearance by restoring the clock tower, creating a copy of the original which was taken down in the 1950s. The estimated total cost of the project is in the region of £384,000 +VAT of which £100,000 has already been offered. 

Network Rail has undertaken a roof survey free of charge and London Midland has offered to manage the construction of the project.  Since the Civic Society formed its Friends of Malvern's Railway Group in November 2011, the Group has influenced the design of the redeveloped Malvern Link Station and persuaded Network Rail to repaint the footbridge at the Link Station to complement the new station buildings. At Great Malvern Station they have lobbied Network Rail to replace the damaged floral work to the ornate columns and carry out repairs to the canopy, now planned for 2016/17. The unique pedestrian passageway (known locally as 'The Worm'), linking Platform 2 with Malvern St. James School, has now been listed Grade II and Network Rail has been requested to carry out repairs to arrest any further decay. Support by sponsoring one or more elements of the construction is now being sought to help in enhancing this piece of Malvern's heritage. Please complete the sponsorship form below to help make Malvern an even better place in which to live and encourage visitors. 

 

More detail / Sponsorship Form

 

 

 

National Trust day passes membership benefit

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Malvern Civic Society is a member of Civic Voice. Civic Voice has obtained a National Trust and English Heritage day passes membership benefit for Civic Societies in membership of Civic Voice. 

 

The National Trust passes are hard copy only, one per member (two for joint members) and can be obtained by individual members of Civic Societies forwarding a stamped address envelope to: Civic Voice, 60 Duke Street, Liverpool L1 5AA. 

 

 

Malvern's Council House, once the home of one of the Doctors who promoted Malvern's Water Cure in the 19th Century, ©Malvern Civic Society/Kevin Brewer

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Reports from recent meetings and events

 

January Meeting 2017

 

November Meeting 2016

 

October Meeting 2016

 

September Meeting 2016

 

July Meeting 2016

 

June Meeting 2016

 

May Meeting 2016

 

April Meeting 2016

 

March Meeting 2016

 

February Meeting 2016

 

January Meeting 2016

 

November Meeting 2015

 

October Meeting 2015

 

September Meeting 2015

 

July Meeting 2015

 

June Meeting 2015

 

May Meeting 2015

 

April Meeting 2015

 

March Meeting 2015

 

February Meeting 2015

 

January Meeting 2015

 

November Meeting 2014

 

October Meeting 2014

 

September Meeting 2014

 

News Sheets

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The Malvern Civic Society produces a Quarterly Members' Newsletter called "Bandstand" that is sent out by e-mail or available as a paper copy according to preference.