English Heritage turn down request to protect historic March cottages

PUBLISHED: 09:36 15 June 2011

Reg Kemp with the Acre cottages in Acre Road that he wants to preserve.

Reg Kemp with the Acre cottages in Acre Road that he wants to preserve.

Archant

A ROW of historic cottages in March will not be listed despite a move to have them protected by English Heritage.

Gaynor Roberts, English Heritage’s Designation Co-ordinator for the East, decided not to add 3-6 Acre Road to the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historical Interest.

She said in a report that although the buildings are in a “poor state of repair” there is no specific threat to them. Ms Roberts also ruled that even though the buildings were of local interest they are not of “special historic interest” in a national context.

Reg Kemp, who has lived in March for around 10 years, has however vowed to continue fighting to protect the 19th century buildings.

Mr Kemp said: “I’m obviously disappointed about the decision but it’s not the end of the road as far as I’m concerned.

“I’m going to look at the possibility of grant funding and try and gain more support from Fenland District Council, the March Society and the family (the Hydes) who own the cottages.

“My major concern is that one day they’ll just get demolished and I don’t want that to happen. I admit they might not be of national interest but they certainly are of local interest.”

The cottages are the last remaining part of the Little London area of March and are representative of the type of housing that was lived in around the cholera outbreak in 1849.

Three of the cottages are now derelict and one is used as a bric-a-brac shop on a limited basis.

Mr Kemp said: “It’s still my vision to one day have the cottages used in a similar sense to True’s Yard in King’s Lynn.

“I’ll pursue every avenue possible to help retain the last remaining bit of the Little London area of the town.”

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