We have been working hard in the fight to save Eastleigh’s heritage, the Old Co-Operative Dairy on Derby Road. There is still work to do but we have made some progress. If you’re passionate about Eastleigh’s history, you’ll be pleased to hear this.
As you know I have been working with residents to save Eastleigh’s heritage. Our latest fight is to save t he Old Co-Operative Dairy that was due to be demolished in May. The good news is that, thanks to a great community effort, we have manage to get this postponed. The reason that we got this postponed is so that Historic England can review the application to protect the building – great news!
There is a clear lack of support from sitting councillors and Eastleigh Borough Council – as yet nobody at EBC has confirmed they support protecting Eastleigh’s heritage. This is a crazy situation considering the building was here long before they were. Why am I surprised though?
In a ideal world, we would have had confirmation that the demolition will not go ahead entirely but that isn’t likely until we know if Historic England will provide protected status. This will be completed in three to four months time.
One clear issue is Eastleigh Borough Council’s willingness to let independent analysis of the historic building take place. The council have refused entry to independent specialists based on safety grounds. This isn’t acceptable. EBC sent in their own people and a consultant into the building only a few weeks ago. If you were suspicious, you would argue that the council are putting up a smokescreen to hold our analysis back.
What’s next for Eastleigh’s historic building?
We will now lobby EBC and councillors to provide access for specialists or seek video and/or photographs of the inside of the building. Independent specialists need access as currently EBC and councillors are claiming that the building is in total disrepair. We know this isn’t accurate because Eastleigh Basics Bank have used the site until they were kicked out a few weeks ago.
I will continue to work with the community and look to support a regeneration plan of the site and protect Eastleigh’s heritage. This means seeking funding and support whilst also working with residents to make sure it meets their requirements.
The fight to make Eastleigh better continues and you can be sure I will keep you updated. We must save Eastleigh’s heritage.