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Final appeal to save historic Foster Hall in Bodmin

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: June 19, 2013

The Foster block - The Cornwall Buildings Group have appealed for Foster Hall to be retained.

The Foster block - The Cornwall Buildings Group have appealed for Foster Hall to be retained.

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AN ORGANISATION that aims to protect important buildings in the county is making a final bid to save Bodmin's historic Foster Hall from total demolition.

The Silvanus Trevail-designed Edwardian landmark is due to be bulldozed after leaseholders Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said it could no longer afford to maintain the derelict building.

Last month, an approach to English Heritage to have Foster Hall listed failed for the fourth time.

Now, the Cornish Buildings Group has appealed to Community First Cornwall, which owns the Foster complex of buildings, to consider saving Foster Hall for future community use.

Paul Holden, chairman of the group, felt the request was the last hope of saving Foster Hall, which was once the main social meeting place for Bodmin residents.

"We have tried our best to save the complex as we feel it is an important part of Bodmin's social and architectural history. However, we have to accept the building is being stripped out and its future hangs in the balance. We hope that Community First Cornwall will consider retaining the front block and the Foster Hall, which, we feel, will add historic quality to any future development on that site."

Mr Holden said it seemed ridiculous that buildings of this quality can be demolished with no future plans to develop the site.

"It is so sad that such iconic buildings will be lost and that the site will remain empty and undeveloped for many years to come," he said.

"We feel this complex is of huge regional significance. It is architecturally important and is the last work of one of the county's most famous sons, Silvanus Trevail.

"We are asking Community First Cornwall to live up to their company title, to put Bodmin communities first and retain two elements of a structure that has defined the town for over a century," said Mr Holden.

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