One of the breathtakingly dismissive reasons Polegate Old Station is being earmarked for demolition is that it is of little architectural interest. Who says? The developers who want to cram 23 flats and a supermarket on the site?
The building is a superb example of the glory days of the London Brighton and South Coast Railway. Built in the Italian villa style favoured by the company it has stood solidly for more than 150 years and withstood fire and many changes of use.
Another shrugging dismissal is that the bricks have been painted over ... so, paint them another colour! That is no reason to demolish and obliterate forever heritage in favour of mean, modern, cramped development which will not last 20 years. We have already lost an historic Saxby and Farmer signal box at Hampden Park.
Something of a puzzle is, looking at the planning application and minutes of the council meeting where this was discussed, development was not opposed, as long as the building was conserved and integrated .. .rather like the facade of the Art Deco building now housing the Premier Inn. How has a sympathetic development with conservationist intent suddenly become the green light for wholesale destruction? What, or who, can possibly have changed the council’s mind, and with what kind of incentive?
Our current Government has given the go-ahead for millions of homes to cover the land, including Green Belt. Conservation and architectural heritage have never been more endangered. Please don’t let developers with pound signs in their eyes and utter disregard for history and environment, tear down the symbols of what made this country the envy of the world.
Please get this station Listed. It can be easily converted into homes ... look at Much Wenlock Station, converted for housing and perfectly in keeping with local style.
This would cost less and cause less strain on public resources than packing in two dozen homes and a supermarket which will also threaten the existence of other shops. We need to leave future generations with a legacy of enduring greatness, not evidence of political folly and commercial avarice.