A petition of over 5,000 names demanding a halt to the demolition of 111-119 Charing Cross Road, Foyles’ former flagship bookshop, has been delivered to Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark MP.
Asking for a public inquiry into the proposed demolition, the petition, which was launched only three weeks ago, demands that the “demolition of 111-119 Charing Cross Road” should be stopped and reconsidered. “These handsome buildings make a positive contribution to the Soho Conservation Area,” the petition adds, “and their destruction and replacement with an oversized office building would result in substantial harm to this important part of London.’
The Victorian Society have also written to Mr Clark, adding their support to the campaign.
Mike Fox, Deputy Director of SAVE said: “The response to this petition has been really great, racing to over 5,000 signatures in just three weeks. A request for a public inquiry is not something undertaken lightly, but in this case we feel it is justified.
“These are attractive buildings capable of being reused, and ones which should be protected by the Conservation Area. Their demolition will further erode the character of Soho, already under threat, and the proposed replacement would cause substantial harm. We urge the Secretary of State to intervene.”
The proposals would see three unlisted buildings of merit, including the former Foyles store, demolished along with several other key buildings.
Foyles opened in 1929 at 113-119 Charing Cross Road and was, at the time, the largest bookshop in the world.
The petition can be seen by visiting: http://www.savebritainsheritage.org/campaigns/item/393/SAVE-submits-5000-strong-Foyles-Petition-to-Secretary-of-State