Wednesday, 17 April 2013

DCMS decide to uphold the decision NOT to list the Tumble Down Dick

Our reference: 476140

Tumbledown Dick Public House, Farnborough Road, Farnborough, Hampshire

Further to your application in which you asked for a review of the decision not to list the Tumbledown Dick Public House (the “Pub”). I am the Department’s officer responsible for the review of listing decisions and had no involvement in the original decision not to list.

After considering your grounds for review and evidence submitted they are not sufficient to consider overturning the original decision. The reasons for this decision are given below.

Circumstances under which the overturning of a previous decision will be considered
Overturning an original decision will only be considered if there is evidence that the original decision has been wrongly made.  Examples of a wrongly made decision would be:

-          where there has been a significant factual error, e.g. the wrong building was listed; or
-          where there has been some irregularity in the process that has affected the outcome, e.g. significant relevant considerations have not been taken into account/significant irrelevant considerations have been taken into account. 

Reviews of decisions are also undertaken if there is significant new evidence, not previously considered, relating to the special architectural or historic interest of the building in a national context as defined by the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.  For example:

-          where new evidence relating to the date of a building has been discovered; or
-          where there has been a material change of circumstances affecting the assessment of a building’s architectural or historic interest.

In all the above cases evidence can only be considered which relates to the special architectural or historic interest of the building.  The Principles of Selection for Listing Buildings, March 2010, (copy attached) sets out general principles, as well as the statutory criteria, for measuring architectural and historic interest in the national context. Other factors, such as planning considerations and local importance, cannot be taken into account. Disagreement with the advice of English Heritage without persuasive new evidence will also not be considered grounds for review.

The grounds you have submitted are not sufficient to consider overturning the original decision for the following reasons.

The Principles of Selection for Listing Buildings – Identifying and Recording the Historic Environment
This section of the Principles, from which you quote part of paragraph 3, is a generic commentary on identifying and recording the historic environment. It is a preamble to the main purpose of the document – listing buildings of architectural and historic interest – and sets the national context for listing. It doesn’t form part of the general principles or statutory criteria for listing.

The content of English Heritage’s advice report
It is important to note that the EH advice report is not intended to be a comprehensive account of the architecture and history of a building. Its purpose is to provide a summary sufficient to allow a decision to be made on whether or not a building meets the statutory criteria for listing. All information submitted as part of a listing application is critically assessed by EH during the drafting of their report. Opinions and facts submitted by any party are not accepted uncritically.

The General Principles applied during a listing assessment
The date of the rear extension is discussed later in this decision letter. The General Principles are general principles only and any building is subject to the more specific Statutory Criteria. Consequently the date of a building does not automatically result in its listing. It is also subject to the test of special architectural and/or historic interest.

The English Heritage Selection Guides
These are produced by EH to cover various broad building types. They are intended as a guide to what may be of importance when assessing a particular building type. They are non-statutory guidance only and are not listing criteria. The Principles of Selection for Listing Buildings take precedence over the Selection Guides.

Individual features of special interest
Very few buildings display special interest throughout and this would not be expected when assessing a building for listing. The purpose of section 1(3)(b) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 is to allow the Secretary of State to protect a specific feature of a building that is of special interest e.g. a particularly fine fireplace or plaster ceiling. Nothing with that level of special interest has been identified at the Tumbledown Dick PH.

The speculation on early fabric
The dating of the rear extension to the Pub to the C16-C18 is speculative. Although similar in form there is no clear evidence that this part of the Pub relates to the building in the 1780s watercolour by Thomas Rowlandson. Even if we accept that it is the same building it has been very heavily altered to the degree that, without any information on its construction, it is only the double roof configuration that tentatively identifies it. It has lost significant amounts of its original fabric, principally its façade, and doesn’t survive in anything like its original form.

The design of the ‘1817’ building
EH commented in their original advice on the form of the part of the building constructed around 1817 but with later alterations. Pubs are not rare building types nationally and selectivity when assessing them for statutory listing is important. In this case the Pub has been altered and extended. The southern part of the main building, for instance, being rebuilt or at least heavily remodelled between 1880 and 1896. As far as is known the building retains nothing of its C19 pub interior.

Historic interest
The Annersley family - The association of the Annesley family with the manorial estate is acknowledged. However, the Pub is only a minor feature of the estate and was constructed after the Annesley’s ownership. There is no direct and close historical association between the family and the Pub. There is also no direct association between the present Pub and ‘Kidnapped’ and similar stories.
The Wilmot family - The association with the Wilmot family, under whose ownership the present Pub was built, is closer than that of the Annesleys. However, the reasons for the Wilmot’s national importance, as expressed in the review request, has no demonstrable connection with the Pub.
The Rowlandson watercolour – The figures in the Rowlandson painting may be representative of local people in the street at the time but the images are too generalised to be associated with any particular prominent figures. Any attribution of names to a figure would be speculation and their appearance in the painting does not signify any direct association with the Pub.

Group Value
The group value between the Pub, Farnborough House and St Peter’s Church is not strong. The three building types, pub, manor and church, are very common functional features of very many English towns and villages and weren’t planned or designed as a group. This, along with the very limited architectural interest of the Pub, significantly limits the group value and doesn’t add materially to a case for listing.

National Interest
The EH advice report acknowledges that the Pub is locally important for its civilian and military role in the historic village of Farnborough. In a national context, however, it does not have the resonance either as a building of national importance or as a local building that adds significantly to the national building stock to merit listing. There are no quotas for listing buildings either by type or location. Buildings are listed solely on their ability to meet the statutory criteria for listing in a national context.

The development of the Tumbledown Dick PH over time
The C19 was a time of strong population growth and transport and trading development. The extension and development of buildings is a common factor in this period and the Pub does not demonstrate any development out of the ordinary.

The association with the local pottery industry
As a very important industry for the local economy many buildings in the area will have a direct or indirect association with pottery manufacture. There is no particular and direct association between the Pub and the pottery industry that could add materially to a case for listing.

The construction materials for the Pub
Historically transporting heavy building materials long distances would have been a slow and often difficult undertaking. It is not surprising, therefore, if the bricks used to build the Pub came from the local area. This would have been the case for most modest buildings and isn’t of any great significance. If the frontage did have some surface decoration, as suggested, it does not survive in any recognisable form and would represent a detrimental alteration to the original building.

The information you have submitted is not sufficient to provide grounds for overturning the original decision. The original decision, and the reasons for it, should therefore stand and the Tumbledown Dick Public House, Farnborough Road, Farnborough, Hampshire should not be added to the statutory list.

Further opportunity to make a listing application
The Secretary of State has a continuing duty under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 to maintain an up-to-date statutory list of buildings of architectural or historic interest. If significant new information should come to light in the future then a new listing application may be made to English Heritage through their on-line application process.

Andy Doidge
Designation Review Manager

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Nice piece on Lady T from my mate Dan

My mate Dan and Mrs T

I’m not sure you can appreciate the magnitude of Margaret Thatcher’s achievement without some knowledge of the calamity that immediately preceded it. Most British people can no longer remember the Seventies. I am just fractionally above the national median age – born September 1971 – and my recollections are hazy. What I do recall, though, was the sense of despair. Again and again, I would hear adults casually say “Britain is finished”. Having spent my early years in Peru, where Britain was still looked up to as a serious country, I was shocked.
In fact, such sentiments were understandable. These were the years of the three-day week, of prices and incomes policies, of double-digit inflation, of constant strikes, of power cuts. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the United Kingdom had been outperformed by every European economy. “Britain is a tragedy – it has sunk to borrowing, begging, stealing until North Sea oil comes in,” said Henry Kissinger. The Wall Street Journal was blunter: “Goodbye, Great Britain: it was nice knowing you”.
Margaret Thatcher, almost alone, refused to accept the inevitability of decline. She was determined to turn the country around, and she succeeded. Inflation fell, strikes stopped, the latent enterprise of a free people was awakened. Having lagged behind for a generation, we outgrew every European country in the 1980s except Spain (which was bouncing back from an even lower place). As revenues flowed in, taxes were cut and debt was repaid, while public spending – contrary to almost universal belief – rose.
In the Falklands, Margaret Thatcher showed the world that a great country doesn’t retreat forever. And, by ending the wretched policy of one-sided détente that had allowed the Soviets to march into Europe, Korea and Afghanistan, she set in train the events that would free hundreds of millions of people from what, in crude mathematical terms, must be reckoned the most murderous ideology humanity has known.
Like everyone else, I remember where I was when she resigned. It was the equivalent, for my generation of  John F Kennedy being shot – an event which, curiously, also took place on 22 November. After three election victories, the Iron Lady was brought down by a collection of Euro-fanatical MPs – the “November Criminals” as one of my local party chairmen darkly calls them. It’s true that there were several factors in her unpopularity, above all the poll tax. Still, it can’t be repeated too often: the immediate cause of Margaret Thatcher’s toppling was that she opposed Britain’s membership of the euro. Who called that one right?
On any normal measure, she was a supremely successful politician. I'd go further and call her our most successful prime minister ever. Yet she drove many to a hatred so intense that, even on the day she died, a frail grandmother, the Internet was filled with venomous joy. (Have a look, if you have a strong stomach, at my favourited comments on Twitter, or at the #dingdongthewickedwitchisdead hashtag.)
Where does it come from, this inchoate loathing? Anti-Thatcherites tell you that it’s because she closed down the old industries. (She didn’t, of course: she simply stopped obliging everyone else to support them.) Yet it must surely be obvious by now that nothing would have kept the dockyards and coalmines and steel mills open. A similar process of de-industrialisation has unfolded in every other Western European country, and the only parties that still talk of “reviving our manufacturing base” are Respect, the Scottish Socialists and the BNP.
No, what Lefties (with honourable exceptions) find so hard to forgive is the lady’s very success: the fact that she rescued a country that they had dishonoured and impoverished; that she inherited a Britain that was sclerotic, indebted and declining and left it proud, wealthy and free; that she never lost an election to them. Their rage, in truth, can never be assuaged; for it is the rage of Caliban.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Death of a legend. Margaret Thatcher

We have witnessed today the passing of one of the greatest peacetime leaders of our nation. The first woman Prime Minister of Britain, the Iron Lady that had the deepest respect from every major leader in the world. A politician of principle, with the courage to stand up to bullies, be they Union bosses or nations like Argentina.
She was loved and loathed, but never be ignored. The formidable, the powerful, the reformer the energetic and charismatic Margaret Thatcher. I am very proud to be part of the party that gave her the opportunity to serve as Prime Minister.

Friday, 5 April 2013

WARNING: Voter Registration Scam

Electoral Roll
We have recently been contacted by the Electoral Commission drawing our attention to a website  that has been offering a paid-for register to vote service.   This was drawn to the Commission’s attention by Stockton On Tees and they had also received a direct complaint from the public about the site which is being prominently advertised on GOOGLE in response to searches such as “register to vote”.

The service offered includes an online application process with the form being printed by  and then being sent to the elector with a label containing the Commission's address rather than to a person's Electoral Registration Office. The company also offers to check completed applications. The website charges a £30 fee for their service as well as offering a premium rate phone service costing £1.53 per minute, plus additional network charges, to manage a person's voter registration.

The Commission is firmly against this service, as registering to vote is free of charge, with no associated costs to complete and return a form to an individual's Electoral Registration Office.   They want to make sure that no one uses this or any other service that charges for something that is straightforward and free.  They have contacted the company to ask them to cease their activities and also informed the Office for Fair Trade and Phone Pay Plus (who regulate premium call numbers) so they can establish if there are any legal and regulatory issues that need to be investigated.

They will shortly be issuing a press release urging people not to use the service and reminding everyone that they can register to vote for free by visiting, calling 0800 3 280 280 or contacting their local authority, in our case Rushmoor Borough Council 01252 398 826. Or web link