A potted history of the Abbey Church courtesy of Buildings at RiskContinue reading The decline and fall
Those of you that have been paying attention will know about the progressive decline of the Abbey Church in Dunbar and the extended planning shenanigans, which ended up in a failed appeal to establish an audacious 5 bed modern home inside the shell of the B listed church. Graham Armet, local architect has bounced back with a fresh proposal.
The shell concept has been retained and now accommodates a spacious garden, and much more modest small and simple home over 2 floors. There’s every attempt to keep a fair amount of the old, the main structural elements are retained, as did the previous proposal, though realistically this one should be easier to implement as the woodwork and roof, mostly in a poor state, will now be removed. What I have seen of this proposal makes me think that it is realistic and achievable. I am especially intrigued by the semi public element to the gardens, which certainly gets my approval. I hope the planners work with the developer and give this the green light.
To comment on this proposal: search for these details:
14/00137/LBC | Alterations, extension to building, formation of hardstanding areas, raised terraces and demolition of parts of building | Abbey Church Abbey Road Dunbar East Lothian EH42 1JP
Graeme Armet recently obtained planning permission to modify the Abbey Church Dunbar and convert it into a 5 bed-roomed home late in 2012, but it was a painful and tortuous process. Yet receiving the planning permission turned out to be a pyrrhic victory as there was another more substantial hurdle to surmount, the refusal of Listed Building consent. Armett duly submitted an appeal to Scottish Ministers in January 2013.
The decision making process for planning appeals is quite mechanical and seems to leave rather more room for subjective judgement than at first meets the eye. I leave it to others to judge whether the appointed reporter was being selective or entirely impartial in the arguments martialled in dismissing the appeal. Dan Jackman the appointed reporter refused the appeal on the 5th April 2013.
I went down to see inside the Abbey Church, Dunbar this afternoon. The scene was one of decay and putrefaction in amongst the dereliction, even before the small crop of councilors arrived. With wet rot everywhere and plaster detaching itself from walls like a bad case of psoriasis, the scene seems unimaginable so close to the High Street redolent of a surreal set for a neo-gothic TV drama. Alas, legal protection for this building, since its designation in the 70s has achieved absolutely nothing. Legislation that is intended to protect or at least guide the better management of the historic heritage of our town has failed, once again. Water penetration is now taking its toll. It is a matter of time before major structural damage will ensue and the building is finally condemned.Continue reading Decay and putrefaction in Dunbar