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Fight to save historic house in Southampton
NEIGHBOURS have launched a fight against plans to knock down an historic building to make way for new halls of residence.
The University of Southampton wants to demolish the 19th century Bassett House in Glen Eyre but neighbours believe the Victorian building, once part of the Bassett estate, should stay because it is among the last of its type in the city.
They oppose the development, which also includes knocking down Chamberlain Hall, to pave the way for accommodation housing 400 students.
Dr Adrian Kilcoyne, a GP living next door who is leading the opponents, said: “The local community is tired of being a passive bystander to the university’s systematic destruction of the character of the community, and what remains of the rich heritage of Bassett.
“This is the last building of its kind in Bassett and its loss would be just another addition to the catalogue of bad planning decisions of which Southampton has been a victim.”
Dr Kilcoyne said that an independent heritage consultant had “strongly disagreed” with the university assessment that it has no historical worth.
But a university spokesman said: “We are committed to building more halls to relieve pressure on private housing within the city. This includes on sites like this close to our main campus and zoned by the local authority as designated for student accommodation.
“The University has appointed an independent accredited conservation architect to assess if Bassett House is of special architectural or historic interest and should be listed.
“This experienced accredited conservation architect has confirmed that the building does not meet the criteria for listing.
“We are still developing our proposals for the site and seeking to respond to comments.”