Opposition floods in against Overstone Hall demolition as supporters label it 'beacon of history'

Tens of people have already registered their opposition to the plan proposed by Barry Howard Homes
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More than 80 people have objected to the proposed demolition of Overstone Hall in Northamptonshire.

The owners of the Grade II listed property, Barry Howard Homes, said last month that hopes for a “miraculous restoration” will not happen.

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Residents living close by and others living elsewhere have sent objections ahead of any planning decision being made, with one praising the building as a “beacon of history”.

Opposition to the proposed demolition of Overstone Hall is flooding in.Opposition to the proposed demolition of Overstone Hall is flooding in.
Opposition to the proposed demolition of Overstone Hall is flooding in.

West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) posted the comments on its website. They include one objector opposing the demolition as “barbaric”.

Barry Howard Homes bought the hall and 35 acres of land around it in 2015. The company said it held “absolute intentions” of restoring it but that its plan is now no longer viable.

Some former pupils and a former teacher of a boarding school at the hall objected to the building being fully demolished. One said: “I was honoured to teach for many years at this wonderful building.

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“It has beautiful history and wonderful memories for so many people and if restored will provide a wonderful experience of historic Northamptonshire for future generations. We need to celebrate and secure our beautiful past culture,” they said.

As of Tuesday morning (May 9), WNC had published 87 comments or objections from members of the public on its website. Although 78 of those were labelled as objections, all those marked as comments were also opposed to the hall’s demolition. One of the comments said “please don’t demolish Overstone”, while another said the hall “has to be protected”.

The Victorian Society has already said it will send an official objection to the council about its opposition to the plan.

WNC will decide the application in due course.

The building was built for Lord and Lady Overstone in the 1860s. But Lord Overstone wrote of his “unmitigated disappointment” about it and said it was “very large and full of pretension”.

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It was used as a girls’ boarding school from the 1920s until 1979. It was bought by the New Testament Church of God in 1980. Part of the building unaffected by the fire was used for retirement flats from 2008 to 2014.