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C20 Society urges Stroud Council not to overclad post-war ‘Swedish’ homes

Swedish house rear
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The Twentieth Century Society has urged Stroud Council to scrap plans to alter the appearance of several post-war, so-called ‘Swedish Houses’ by applying an insulating, external render

The heritage group has written to the Gloucestershire council, objecting to its proposals to overclad a number of the prefabricated wooden homes, which are known for their distinctive vertical timber planking facades.

The council has lodged five planning applications to add an ‘external wraparound external wall insulated render system’ to about 17 homes in Dursley, Wotton-Under-Edge, The Camp and Painswick.

Twentieth Century Society conservation adviser Tess Pinto said all the applications concerned the Swedish House-type homes – a kit-build residential construction imported into Britain in 1945 and often assembled by prisoners of war.

In a letter to the council, Pinto wrote: ‘The existence of a number of well-preserved groups of Swedish Houses in Stroud is a remarkable survival, and we are concerned that these applications will have a substantial and harmful impact on their appearance.

‘The society urges that these applications are withdrawn and that alternatives are seriously considered.’

Pinto said the applications had drawn attention to a largely overlooked building type.

‘We are urging Historic England to undertake a wider assessment of Swedish Houses across the country,’ she said. ‘Otherwise, we are at risk of losing a fascinating part of our post-war heritage.’

Stroud District Council declined to comment.

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