Further to the commissioning of a Heritage Assessment report by RBC undertaken by
Turley Associates, we as a Community group, believe it to be a fundamentally flawed and poorly researched document missing significant evidence of the historical and architectural importance and value of this treasured asset to Farnborough.
It would be a tragedy for Rushmoor Council to allow just this evidence alone to sway opinion on the future of this building once the planning application is submitted by McDonald’s. As you may know, we as a campaign have submitted our own application for listing to English Heritage and we believe the outcome of this should have been awaited, rather than the Council pre-empting this by commissioning their own report, this is very unusual.
In the meantime, as a response to the Turley report, we have felt it necessary to publish our own Heritage Assessment Report findings. Please find attached our report which has been written without the benefit of access to the building, but nonetheless, you will see that a huge amount of research has been undertaken in libraries, museums and online. All this information is in the public domain and we are most surprised that Turley Associates overlooked nearly all of it.
You may be aware that The Farnborough Society requested that the Tumbly be added to their proposed list of ‘Buildings of Local Importance’ but for some reason it never made the final list or any comment whatsoever passed on it, despite the TFS querying this, it being one of the oldest buildings in Farnborough and it being a Hampshire Treasure as stated in Hampshire Treasures Vol 3.
PROPOSED FUTURE OF THE TUMBLEDOWN
In the event there is any confusion or misunderstanding, let us clarify that Friends of the Tumbledown Dick has been formed as a Community Interest Group in order to enact our right to bid under the Localism Act to save a local treasured building for community use. We hope to obtain listing status of the building following our own application to English Heritage who are reviewing it now. We will also be submitting our report attached to English Heritage. We wish to see off the McDonald’s bid and we have significant local population support for our campaign plus of course considerable press interest. We wish to acquire the building and if we are able to use our ‘right to bid’ we will be granted 6 months leeway to fund raise in order to buy the building, following a new district valuer valuation of the existing bricks and mortar value of the site. Please note, it is our view that McDonald’s are offering to pay significantly more than the value of the site due to what they consider future value of the cinema complex and as they are intending to increase the boundaries of the site to accommodate their drive-thru, neither of which will be part of our future needs and will not be a factor in any new valuation.
Also the BBC have taken an interest in our campaign and have started filming from the last demo we did and will be airing a documentary on Inside Out show in February about our campaign.