Shout from the rooftops: CPRE’s rooftop solar campaign

SPS is supporting CPRE’s campaign for rooftop solar. An online petition is currently open which urges the government to take a number of steps to increase the use of rooftops for solar power generation.

In May, CPRE published its report into the potential for meeting our energy needs if full use was made of the rooftop space available for solar panels across the country. Research by UCL shows that installing solar panels on existing buildings and car parks would enjoy near-universal public support and help minimise objections to large solar farms in the countryside.

photo: CPRE

More information including how to access the petition is available here.

Pylons Update

This month SPS has registered as an Interested Party for the application to upgrade the Bramford to Twinstead power line.  The project will see the replacement of the smaller 132kV line with a larger 400kV line and some undergrounding through the Dedham Vale.  Registering will allow us to submit further comments to the Examination in due course.  Our registration submission is available here.

Meanwhile the second round of non-statutory consultation on the proposes Norwich to Tilbury line (formerly known as East Anglia GREEN) is open until August 21st.  SPS will submit its comments on these proposals before the deadline.

Offshore wind – Vattenfall decision

Vattenfall is the Swedish company behind a massive investment to bring forward offshore windfarms off the coast of Norfolk. The company has announced however that it is suspending work on its 1.4GW Norfolk Boreas site after a 40 per cent rise in the costs of the project. This was the first of three UK wind farms planned by the Swedish energy group with a total investment of about £10bn-£11bn.

The UK’s bid to more than triple offshore wind capacity by 2030 will be hugely impacted by this move and it raises questions around the required upgrades to the energy transmission infrastructure.

Protecting Arts and Crafts architecture

SPS has commented on proposed alterations to two good examples of Frank Jennings work, a local architect who designed a number of buildings in Walberswick in the Arts and Crafts style. Jennings’ body of work makes an important contribution to the historic environment of the village and therefore both buildings are considered to be Non-Designated Heritage Assets. In responding to the applications for alteration and extension to Box Bush and Toby Cottage we has asked that every effort should be made to carefully control works to maintain the important character of Jennings’s designs.

Former Fire Station at Eye

SPS has objected to the proposed demolition of a rare survival of a nineteenth century gas works. Although it is known as the Former Fire Station, it is a gas work complex which includes the Retort House and the Managers House. The application is for the demolition of two of the three buildings on the site, erection of two replacement dwellings and convert the third to provide a dwelling. The site is outside of the Eye conservation area and is unlisted. 

We have called for a comprehensive Heritage and Impact Assessment to better understand the significance of the buildings before a decision on their future is made by MSDC. The proposed demolition of the Retort House would constitute substantial harm as it would involve the total loss of this historic building.

Shotley housing application withdrawn

SPS is pleased that an application for housing within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB Project Area has been withdrawn. SPS had objected to this application,  which is for 18 dwellings either side of grade II listed Rose Farmhouse, on landscape and heritage grounds.  This is the only listed building in the vicinity and the site compromises the last remaining piece of its original farmland setting.

Shop frontages – sympathetic signage called for in historic Sudbury:

SPS has welcomed the refusals of two separate applications for internally illuminated signage on shops in the centre of historic Sudbury, both of which are listed buildings. We had called for a conservative approach to advertising – we believe that illumination in our historic high streets needs the most careful control if the special character of the townscape is not to be eroded.

The White Cottage at Framlingham – an update

SPS was disappointed to learn that fire had broken out at the White Cottage.  SPS has been urging for restoration of this non-designated heritage asset for a number of years and has previously suggested that the owners, Framlingham College, may wish to gift the property to a conservation body prepared to carry out a sympathetic restoration. We had asked for a meeting with the College and the East Suffolk Building Preservation Trust to discuss this and have now urged that this meeting takes place without further delay.

SPS Events

Retrofit workshop – book now

We are now taking bookings for our Autumn retrofit training event in partnership with Historic England and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Building to be held on November 22nd at Haughley Park Barn.

Cockfield Hall Event

On 13 July over 120 members and friends met in the grounds of Cockfield Hall for champagne and canapes to view the imposing Yoxman sculpture by local artist, Laurence Edwards, and hear about the landscape restoration of the Cockfield estate by the international landscape architect Kim Wilkie. The event took the form of a conversation between architect and artist exploring their respective views of art, time and space, skilfully led by the distinguished founder and director of Messums Wiltshire, Johnny Messum. We are most grateful to our hosts Mr Jon and Lois Hunt, who generously organised this fundraising event on behalf of the Society.

The Missing Pieces Project

& Suffolk’s Unforgettable Garden Story

A drop-in workshop about Historic England’s Missing Pieces Project is taking place at the Hold, Ipswich on Saturday 12th August from 2pm – 4pm. The project aims to collect people’s memories, stories and photos of historic sites in an effort to better record their histories and protect them for future generations.

The Gardens Trust is hosting the workshop and anyone interested in helping to protect our heritage is welcome to go along! More details available here.

SPS in the Media