Historic cottages in March may be protected by English Heritage

PUBLISHED: 14:14 15 September 2010 | UPDATED: 19:00 15 September 2010

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's Acre Road could be listed after a resident of the town applied to have them protected by English Heritage.

Reg Kemp, who has lived in March for 10 years, has become concerned that the 19th century buildings will eventually be demolished even though he has no personal connection to them.

The buildings, 3-6 Acre Road, are the last remaining part of the Little London area of March and have made the council’s buildings at risk register due to their poor condition, even though two bric-a-brac stores rent part of the property.

Mr Kemp said: “It’s been bothering me for a while that these cottages are not listed.

“I can understand that the area has been earmarked for development, which I support, but one of these days a plan will come to build in that area and those cottages will become victims.

“I know improvements need to be made there but this would be another loss to the town in terms of its history which we’re in danger of wiping out if we’re not careful.”

Mr Kemp is waiting to see whether English Heritage approves his application and believes tourism in the town could benefit if the cottages were turned into a heritage centre.

He said: “True’s Yard in King’s Lynn is a fantastic example of what can be done when a group of people decide they want to preserve a historical part of their town.

“People visit True’s Yard in their thousands and they might do the same in March.”

A spokesman for Fenland District Council said: “We recognise that these cottages are buildings of historical interest.

“Accordingly, we have written to the owners offering them grants to restore them under our Fenland Renaissance programme but they have not responded.”

In response, Jim Hyde, whose family owns the cottages, said: “I don’t recollect getting anything from the council regarding the properties.

“We’ve owned them for a long time and if I’d have wanted to demolish them I’d have done so by now. I’m all for supporting the development of the town and hope the cottages could be incorporated.”

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