Alliance Councillor Sara Duncan has said she has been disgusted by the demolition of Oxford House this morning.
Oxford House, at the junction of Purdysburn Road and Beech Hill Road in South Belfast, was built in 1889 as the Queen Victoria Convalescent Home by the Belfast and District Asylum. It featured in the Ulster Architectural Society’s (UAHS) book, Buildings at Risk Vol. 6.
Councillor Duncan said: “This was one of the most distinctive buildings in the Newtownbreda area, with beautiful lofty chimneys and a three-sided tower. The first floor was covered in distinctive fish scale wall tiles, which were very eye-catching.”
“The UAHS had considered it to be worthy of listing, as the architectural quality and historic links of the house were unique in the area. At the time of the public inquiry into the proposed Tesco store beside it, the UAHS tried to get the house listed, but the Environment and Heritage Service refused to do so.”
“Now it has been demolished and I am disgusted. It will probably become the site for yet more unsightly apartments.”
“After the furore over the demolition of Seamus Heaney’s former house, it would seem that developers have a free rein to do what they want in South Belfast.”
“The only conclusion I can come to is that the Environment and Heritage Service are neither interested in the environment or our heritage.”