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Conservationists in book bid to stop Supreme Court design

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Conservationists have upped the ante in the campaign to stop Feilden + Mawson's conversion of Middlesex Guildhall in Parliament Square into the new Supreme Court of England and Wales.

SAVE Britain's Heritage has launched a new book that documents the changes it sees as unnecessary and brings together comments from supporters, including Law Lords, who want to stop the current designs.

The proposed project has planning permission and is expected to start on site in spring of next year - as such this new move can be seen as a last-ditch bid to stop it.

The book claims the grade II*-listed building is of high architectural merit, despite many experts having questioned its importance.

It states: 'When proposing the removal of the Middlesex iconography from around the door (on a shield above the main entrance and on plaques either side), the Department for Constitutional Affairs probably did not make the comparison with the Roman Emperors' habits of changing inscriptions on buildings and monuments.

'The arrogance of this action, then as now, is great, and it is a significant marker of the way in which the rest of the building would be treated.

'Once through the doors (it is not clear whether these will survive), the character of the building will have been fundamentally altered by the proposals.

'While a reordering of the vestibule might allow the space to be better appreciated, the Supreme Court proposals go too far, in that they would result in the removal of the wall facing the entrance, giving a clear view into what is now Court 1, (the proposed library), and radically, George Street,' the book continues.

For more information, visit www.savebritainsheritage.org

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by Ed Dorrell

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