Despite objections from the Victorian Society, the plans for the extensive works at Forty Hall planned and then self-approved by Enfield Council will start later this year. As reported earlier (‘Forty Hall ‘renovation’ gets approval from council but probably not from everyone else‘) the council proposed to make some significant alterations to the Grade-I listed house which seem to threaten the interiors but the latest story gives a very rosy view of the plans.
It seems that little has been changed from the original plans and the council will proceed with the plans despite the various concerns about the proposals. Official bodies have a long history of believing themselves to be right despite credible evidence to the contrary so this determined attitude is not unsurprising. It does seem a shame that heritage protection has now been superseded by a belief that the ends justify the means – with one of the most used phrases being that the changes will promote ‘community access’. However, any plans should always bear in mind that the house is not simply a resource to be used but a vital part of local heritage which is not simply for this generation to (mis-)use as they might see fit. It will be interesting to see whether the council can deliver an architecturally sensitive project or whether the warnings and concerns of others will be proved valid.
More details: ‘Enfield’s crown jewel, Forty Hall, to be restored from next year‘ [This is Local London]