Hundreds back petition to save historic Houghton Regis house

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An online petition to save a historic house in Houghton Regis from being demolished has gained over 350 supporters.

The application at Oakwell Place, Thorn Road, seeks to construct around 100 new homes and demolish all existing building on the site – including the elegant Oakwell Park House.

The site sits next to the planned HRN2 development of up to 1,850 homes.

Alan Winter, who runs Houghton Regis Newsdesk, started the petition when he spotted the planning application.

He said: “I was stunned when I read that they actually were wanting to ‘demolish all existing buildings on site’.

“When you see the photographs that are available on the internet, it beggars belief that they would want to knock this fine looking old building down.

“They could easily come up with a new outline plan for new buildings that skirted around the main old building, so that it could be preserved.”

His views were backed by Houghton Regis Town Councillor Tracey McMahon, who urged residents to sign the petition. She stated: “Save this lovely character building in Thorn, under threat of being demolished to make way for houses. These are not part of the HRN2 development, but another ‘infill’ right next to the sheduled monument of Thorn Spring.”

Oakwell Park House includes Tudor and Jacobean styles. Part of the site is also designated as a County Wildlife Site (CWS), with ancient woodland dating before 1796.

Mr Winter’s petition now has over 350 signatures. Supporter Richard Bigwood posted: “Enough damage has been done to Houghton Regis lately. This should be a listed building as it is a representation of the building skills still present at a time between world wars.”

A Central Bedfordshire Council spokesman said: “The consultation period closes on 1 February and we would encourage people to have a say before then. All views and comments will be taken into consideration before any decision is made.”

See the petition at www.change.org/p/central-bedfordshire-council-save-oakwell-park-main-building.