Page last updated at 12:55 GMT, Saturday, 20 February 2010

Protest in Strood for demolished building


Medway Council is knocking down the Aveling and Porter building to make way for a car park

Campaigners have gathered to protest against the demolition of what they say is a landmark building in Kent.

The protest was held outside the Aveling and Porter building in Strood on Saturday.

Medway City Council is part-way through demolishing the building to make way for a car park.

The council says the 105-year-old building, next to the Medway River and Rochester Bridge, would have cost too much money to refurbish.

Demolition began on 14 December. The council said the new car park would be beneficial to people using the new high-speed rail service from the nearby railway station.

The factory was designed by George Bond and built in 1904 as part of the Aveling and Porter steam engine factory site.

Not listed

The company employed more than 1,000 people in Strood at its peak.

A council spokesman said: "English Heritage is the national expert on historic properties. It extensively examined the history and architecture of the building twice and on both occasions has stated that the building should not be listed.

"It is a priority of ours that everyone benefits from the area's regeneration, and estimated costs of £800,000 to repair the building would not be a good use of council taxpayer's money

"In addition to this, the site will eventually be sold to help regenerate Strood with a new mixed use development that will complement the riverside site."

Protest organiser Chris Tong said although it was too late to save the building, he hoped the protest would raise awareness of other sites in Medway under threat from redevelopment.

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