Demolition shows painful lack of ambition

Eden Court is not just any old tower block of the prefabricated Ronan Point type. It was designed by a Leamington architect, Henry Fedeski, of Rayner & Fedeski, to mark the high point of the Lillington estate, of which the borough council was rightly proud. Work began in 1959, and on November 17, 1960, Mrs John Hobson, wife of the local MP, declared the new block open.

At 15 stories, it is not oppressively high, unlike many later 1960s towers. With its irregular double-square plan, careful arrangement of smaller and larger windows, use of balconies to create depth, and red brick and pale render cladding, in style it clearly pays homage to the first residential tower block in England, Frederick Gibberd’s ‘The Lawn’ at Harlow, built in 1951, which has been a Grade II listed building since 1998. The overall design of The Lawn is described in the listing as showing a ‘care and subtlety...which represents the best of British housing design of the early 1950s’. Eden Court also gets a mention in Pevsner’s Buildings of England.

Eden Court is a dramatic visual asset to Lillington and the whole town, and apart from its architectural merits, it is also home to eighty nine individuals and families, and I believe has been well maintained over the years.

To think of casually demolishing it displays a painful lack of ambition and vision. If the need for social housing in this form is shrinking (which actually I don’t believe), lease it to private tenants, or convert it into a hotel. Use some imagination. Eden Court must stand.

Richard Taulbut, The Greenways, Lillington