St Neots landmark misses out on listed status

THE future of a St Neots landmark looks uncertain after a campaign to have it listed failed.

THE future of a St Neots landmark looks uncertain after a campaign to have it listed failed.

Historian Peter Ibbett and Councillor Steve van de Kerkhove had hoped that the ATS chimney and associated wharf buildings in Brook Street would be protected as part of the town’s industrial heritage.

However, this week they told The Hunts Post that their application had been rejected by English Heritage because the buildings were incomplete and damaged.

A spokesman for English Heritage said: “The Secretary of State has decided not to designate the buildings and chimney as listed. This follows the advice of English Heritage that the buildings have lost their context and do not meet the criteria for listing. The main building and adjoining range have been partly lost due to fire damage, the chimney has been reduced in height and a number of buildings within the wharf have been lost.”

Now campaigners fear the chimney, which dates from 1754, will be knocked down to make way for development. The site closed as an ATS Euromaster outlet last year and is for sale.

Cllr Steve van de Kerkhove said: “This is very disappointing news. The chimney and wharf buildings should be preserved as part of the town’s industrial heritage.

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“Whether you think the chimney is a landmark or an eyesore, it is an important part of our history.”

Cllr van de Kerkhove said any developer which takes an interest in the site should respect its history.

“Both the chimney and the wharf buildings should be saved.”

Mr Ibbett said not all hope of preserving the history of the buildings had been lost.

He said Huntingdonshire District Council had working on a design brief to ensure any development was sympathetic to the site.

A spokesman for the district council said the chimney “would be staying put”.

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