Satellite dishes fitted on historic building

A COUNCIL has suggested satellite dishes be fitted on a Grade I listed building to see what they look like.

Bookmaker Ladbrokes plc has fitted two receivers on the Market Cross in Bury St Edmunds before being granted planning permission as part of an experiment with St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

A borough council spokeswoman said: “Ladbrokes said when they installed the satellite dishes, you wouldn’t be able to see them. So we said ‘prove it’.”

Built between 1774 and 1780 by renowned architect Robert Adams, the Market Cross on the town’s Cornhill is seen as ‘nationally important’ by English Heritage. The ground floor of the building has stood empty since the Woolwich closed in 2007.

Ladbrokes sparked objections from English Heritage, The Bury Society and residents when it applied to put satellite dishes on the roof of the former playhouse in July.

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The initial scheme was withdrawn and Ladbrokes lodged a new application with the council on August 26 to install a new timber shop front, the dishes and new signs. But a council official had already supervised the installation of the dishes on August 9 by Ladbrokes to prove they would not be visible.

“We wanted them to put something up that was the same size as the dishes,” the council spokeswoman said. “Instead of putting up a cardboard cut-out, we said put something up that’s the size you use.”

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She added the dishes were not attached to cables in the building and did not work.

The latest application will go before the council’s development control committee in November. But Simon Harding, a heritage campaigner in the town, said: “It is an architectural crime to abuse this building to this point. It is a total disregard for our heritage.”

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