Caught in the act

July 23, 2008 at 12:07 | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments


Here’s a crime in the course of being committed, in the oldest part of Barrow at the junction of Salthouse Road and Rawlinson Street.

This building, which as you see is of Barrow’s natural materials sandstone and red brick, is receiving a layer of mortar in readiness for being pebbledashed. Pebbledashing is the scourge of Barrow. It looks bleak and grey, especially in wind and rain, and it’s alien. Look closely and you see that the small stones include pieces of flint, which belongs to the chalklands and there are no chalklands closer than the Yorkshire Wolds. This here is a particularly vile act of vandalism and the planning committee which allowed it should be lined up and shot!



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  1. Not to worry
    It’ll be alright in the morning

  2. The more it get pebbledashed the less all right it will be! I hate pebbledash!

  3. Grief, even if you do need planning permission for pebbledashing. it’s unlikely to be the sort of thing they bother councillors with.

  4. Alex, that would depend on whether its in a conservation area and requires conservation area permission. Also, I don’t know what Nottingham do but certainly in Bristol, where I chaired the central area planning committee, any application which attracts objections goes before the committee.

    Do I take it that you approve of pebbledash, then? What about that ghastly stone cladding in the middle of a terrace? Barrow is a naturally red town – brick and sandstone – and pebbledash is an abomination.

    I also deplore the almost universal devastation of doors and windows, all the old characterful ones being replaced with perfectly awful UPVC.

  5. Blimey, your planning committee must have been busy. Our criteria are controversial applications (many objections), key applications (sensitive/strategic locations) and members’ request.

    I don’t entirely approve of pebbledashing – it strikes me as a weird thing for anyone to want to spend money on – and I have been known to refer to stonecladding as twit-bricks.

    However… there is an energy efficiency question. In houses like mine without the benefit of a cladding, you could increase your thermal mass with external insulation covered in render. If I can find anyone who knows how to do that locally, I’d consider it. What do you think about other forms of render, apart from pebbledashing?

    The doors and windows – it’s everso expensive to have real ones made now. I’ve just replaced my old aluminium frame double glazing with uPVC, and a little bit died inside.

  6. Alex: not half as busy in Bristol as we were in Kensington & Chelsea, where the policy was to present members with all but the most trivial applications. Consequently every meeting was preceded several days in advance by a hefty pile of papers. Most went through on the nod but at least we’d had a chance to look at them first. This matters when you are in opposition, and you quickly get the idea that the longer the paper, the less attention you need to give it. It’s the slender ones that officers try to slip through unnoticed that need to be worried about.

    In Bristol, as Chair, I tended to make sure that really contentious applications, especially in the Clifton area, never got past the agenda conference. But that was in the days when I was on a different side and wrong-footing Lib Dems was important.

    The City of Bristol College never forgave me for insisting on their having one fewer floors than they wanted on their Harbourside site – when I applied for a job as an IT lecturer I was turned down!

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