Listed cottages to be destroyed for A428 scheme

19/06/2024
Chris Ames

National Highways is demolishing a Grade II listed building as part of its £1bn A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet scheme.

Brook Cottages are located close to the A1, north of the Black Cat roundabout in Bedfordshire.

In a statement on the scheme’s webpage, National Highways said it knows from speaking to local people that many are interested in the cottages and that during the planning phase it consulted on a number of route options.

After ‘receiving feedback from stakeholders and the public on which route would have the least impact on existing buildings and residents living close to the scheme’, it submitted a road design for its successful Development Consent Order that 'sought to limit the impact on people and buildings'.

However, Brook Cottages needs to be removed to build the new free-flowing link between the A421 eastbound carriageway and the A1 northbound carriageway at Black Cat roundabout.

The government-owned company said that since taking ownership the building last year, it has worked with Historic England and Bedford Borough Council conducting in-depth surveys to evaluate the historical significance and structural condition of the property.

These have revealed that the structure integrity of the building has deteriorated over a number of years and as a whole is deemed to be of low historic value.

‘As a result, we have agreed with Historic England and Bedford Borough Council that Brook Cottages should not be relocated once dismantled.’

National Highways added that it will work alongside Historic England to preserve any items of heritage interest, safely removing them to a safe location.

These items include a bread oven door, structural beams, two fireplace lintels and internal fixtures and fittings.

After these have been removed ‘by hand’, a specialist team will remove any hazardous materials such as asbestos.

The final part of the project will see machinery used to remove the thatched roof and dismantle the timber frame from top to bottom.

Work began on Monday (17 June) and is expected to take four weeks to complete.

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