From the Wavertree Society's Newsletter 121 (October 1998):

... continued

Following our cross-examination of the owners' witnesses, the objectors presented their cases: firstly English Heritage, then a series of local organisations and individuals. Altogether five of our members spoke against the plan to demolish the Hall: Mike Chitty (on behalf of the Society), Florence Gersten (for the Save Our City Campaign), Janet Gnosspelius (for the Historic Society of Lancashire & Cheshire), Jean Ellis and Robert Zatz (as local residents). No-one at all - apart from the owners' representatives - spoke in favour of demolition.

The hearing ended with a last-minute intervention from a Mr John Southwell, who - having attended the Inquiry as an observer - passed a note to the Inspector asking to be allowed to speak. Mr Southwell said he knew of a religious charity, with £2 million to spend, which is looking for a building such as Sandown Hall to use as a residential college.

Those of us who attended the Inquiry emerged very much more optimistic than before about the future of Sandown Hall, and even more determined to ensure that the neglect of a listed building by its owners should not be rewarded by the granting of consent for demolition.

scenes from the site visit,
15 October 1998

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