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Locals fight to list Letchworth bungalows

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A group led by a local architect has launched an appeal against a decision not to list an estate of rare 1950s prefab bungalows in Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire.

The campaigners have vowed to continue the fight to win listing for the 60 'attractive' post-war aluminium 'Hawksley' homes, despite claims from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) that the houses are not of sufficiently 'exceptional architectural quality.'

In a document, the government's statutory consultee on listing English Heritage (EH) said that 'although there is some interest in the layout of the bungalows' the exteriors had been altered so much that they were no longer eligible for heritage protection'.

However, architect Raymond Smale of AART Architects believes EH has not done its homework and that the houses are in fact the best surviving examples of 'permanent' prefabs in the country.

According to Smale, other examples of the bungalow have either been reroofed or clad in brick and that, during the last 50 years, only the windows of the Letchworth houses have been altered.

He said: 'EH has not done enough research and there were some factual errors that give us grounds for a reversal.

'We are quite hopeful. Although people do call it 'Tin Town', the setting and layout is probably the best-kept anywhere in the Garden City.'

by Richard Waite

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