Efforts to list historical building thwarted

ATTEMPTS to get an historical building in Portishead listed for heritage status have failed.

Residents were horrified last year when a planning application was submitted to turn the Masonic Hall in Pier Road in to flats.

The building, which currently lies dormant and boarded, is the original industrial railway station built in the 1860s.

The building was initially designed to form the terminus to the Bristol to Portishead railway line, which was opened in April 1867, and provided a connection with steamers from Cardiff, Newport and Ilfracombe.

Following the opening of Portishead dock in 1879, it also connected with I K Brunel steam ships sailing to America.

More than 70 objections to the building’s development were received in July 2010 and the application was refused on the grounds of lack of parking facilities and the overlooking intrusion on adjacent properties.

Following the demise and development into modern dwellings of many historical buildings in Portishead, residents are now passionate about protecting what is left of the town’s heritage.

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As a result, resident Annette Hennessy, applied for the old railway station to be added to the country’s list of buildings of special architectural or historic interest.

Mrs Hennessy has now received confirmation that her application has been turned down and said: “This is a disappointing but somewhat expected outcome. It would seem the alterations to the building, particularly since purchase by the Masonic Lodge, have ultimately contributed to the failure to achieve heritage status.”

English Heritage confirmed they submitted a report on the building to the Secretary of State who, after careful consideration, has decided not to list the building.