The campaign to save Connell, Ward and Lucas' Grade II-listed Greenspan at Virginia Water in Surrey has stepped up, with Docomomo UK pitching in to help fight the planned demolition.
Docomomo UK is pressing the Twentieth Century Society to take legal action to try to save the 1936 house and has also written to English Heritage to enlist its support. Runnymede Borough Council has awarded listed building consent to the current owners, who claim that Greenspan is beyond economic repair. The couple plan to build a new house on the prime site, next to Wentworth golf course.
But in its letter to EH, Docomomo UK said the structural condition of the house 'in no way justifies demolition'and that it is 'appalled' that the regional Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has endorsed the decision.
James Dunnett, acting chair of Docomomo UK, said that the 'significant'building from the Modern Movement, and one of the few by Connell, Ward and Lucas, was 'critical'. 'If listing can be set aside as lightly as this, it can undermine the status of all listed buildings, 'he said.
The Twentieth Century Society said it was currently taking legal advice into grounds for a judicial review of the 'precedent'case, and that the request for listed building consent had not met the criteria for PPG15.Case officer Clare Barrett said: 'To lose the house on such sloppy grounds seems outrageous' And if even the seminal buildings of the '30s were not safe, Barrett added, the implications for post-war buildings would be massive. 'I have no doubt that if Greenspan was sold to the right person, it could be a huge success story, 'she said.