Support for a competition

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WHILE I do not regard the Canon O’Donnell building as an example of architectural design worthy of preservation, I have some sympathy with some people’s desire to keep it.

Their attitude may well reflect a lack of confidence in the ability of the local authorities to inspire a fitting replacement. Their confidence can hardly be encouraged by the houses under construction nearby. I asked one of the builders if the brick walls were 9 inches thick as they are in a form of Felmish Bond. I was told that they are 4.5 inches thick and that all headers are bricks cut in half. This was apparently a requirement of the local planning authority. The logic of this escapes me.

The first floor windows would be quite acceptable were it not for the glass panes below normal sill level. Given a pleasing outlook this would be quite reasonable but a busy traffic route? Brick walling below the sills would have formed a more neighbourly relationship with the older buildings to the west.

Of course the final decision on the Canon O’Donnell building may rest with the South Downs National Park Authority but they are pre-occupied with countryside matters so will they have the necessary skills for this exacting problem? Hence Mr Parfect’s suggestion of a competition (Sussex Express, July 1) is worthy of support.

Michael Barnard,

Lewes