Culture secretary Chris Smith has angered heritage chiefs by snubbing demands to spot-list a former teacher-training college in Liverpool.
English Heritage, the Victorian Society and SAVE Britain's Heritage championed the red-brick 1890s building, the latter group in the High Court. But Oulton School for the Liverpool Community College is about to be smashed down, with a planning application in for a new further-education campus by Ellis Williams Architects.
Smith refused to list the Clarence Street block despite losing a humiliating High Court action by save at Easter. Judges threw out an earlier decision to approve demolition and told Smith to reconsider and then give reasons. He has nevertheless given the nod for it to be pulled down, saying it has no 'special architectural or historic interest'. The building is said to be one of the first purpose-built teacher-training colleges.
save teamed up with a former John Moores University student, Kevin Shields, for an alternative campus design. It kept the Oulton building but tacked on a glass box with cafes and residential areas. Secretary Richard Pollard said: 'Chris Smith's arguments are incredibly weak which is not surprising because there were so little grounds for those reasons.'