The Canterbury Society has, for the last eighteen months, become increasingly concerned about the rapidly deteriorating condition of two adjoining buildings in the High Street – namely the Holland & Barrett shop and what is now the Tui Travel Agency. The gutter between the adjoining roofs has been gradually building up blockage due to plant growth, as the rainwater downpipe was inadequate and damaged.
The Council following our complaints arranged for a correctly dimensioned downpipe to be fitted and connected into the street drainage system – but the flourishing vegetation in the hopperhead guttering was not removed by the builders and the situation as of January 2018 is of damp entering under the roofs due to backsurge, and damage to the buildings’ fascias due to cascading water, especially damaging the render on the Holland & Barrett building, revealing the lathes beneath, which is becoming serious.
The Canterbury Society considers these buildings part of the remaining old street scape, although not of outstanding architectural merit, but part of the history of the City and fragile survivors of the second World War bombing. Their retention in good order is the responsibility of the Conservation Department of the City Council – which it is understood is under great pressure as several conservation officers have been made redundant; however it is essential that the City cares for its old buildings, its character formed by them, and being part of the visitor attraction and source of income.