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GALLERY: Going going and soon to be gone – historic Brook Cottages close to A1

‘We’re committed to dismantling Brook Cottages in a safe manner’

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Now you see them – soon you won’t. Historic Brook Cottages close to the A1 north of the Black Cat roundabout just before demolition got under way. The photographs were taken by Drone Photos Sandy, a local keen amateur drone operator/photographer.

“You may have seen in the news this week that Brook Cottages which have stood next to the A1 since the 18th century are in the way of the upgrade to extend the A421 to Caxton Gibbett in Cambridgeshire,” he says.

“These Grade II listed buildings were set to be dismantled and built elsewhere but are now being demolished.

Historic Brook Cottages near the Black Cat roundabout just prior to demolition: PHOTO Drone Photos Sandy

Historic Brook Cottages near the Black Cat roundabout just prior to demolition: PHOTO Drone Photos Sandy

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“Luckily, as part of the Black Cat development I took my own aerial photos a few weeks ago.”

National Highways says that during the planning phase they assessed and consulted on a number of route options “receiving feedback from stakeholders and the public on which route would have the least impact on existing buildings and residents living close by.

Historic Brook Cottages near the Black Cat roundabout just prior to demolition: PHOTO Drone Photos Sandy

Historic Brook Cottages near the Black Cat roundabout just prior to demolition: PHOTO Drone Photos Sandy

“Unfortunately, one of the few buildings impacted was Brook Cottages, which needs to be removed to build the new free flowing link between the A421 eastbound carriageway and the A1 northbound carriageway at Black Cat roundabout.

“Since taking ownership of Brook Cottages in August 2023, we have worked with Historic England and Bedford Borough Council conducting in-depth surveys to evaluate the historical significance and structural condition of the property.

Historic Brook Cottages near the Black Cat roundabout just prior to demolition: PHOTO Drone Photos Sandy

Historic Brook Cottages near the Black Cat roundabout just prior to demolition: PHOTO Drone Photos Sandy

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“These surveys have revealed that the structure integrity of the building has deteriorated over a number of years and as a whole is deemed to be of low historic value. As a result, we have agreed with Historic England and Bedford Borough Council that Brook Cottages should not be relocated once dismantled”.

Work on the £1bn highways improvement scheme under way. PHOTO: Drone Photos Sandy

Work on the £1bn highways improvement scheme under way. PHOTO: Drone Photos Sandy

The National Highways statement added: “We’re committed to dismantling Brook Cottages in a safe manner.

Work on the £1bn highways improvement scheme under way. PHOTO: Drone Photos Sandy

Work on the £1bn highways improvement scheme under way. PHOTO: Drone Photos Sandy

“As a part of the process, we’ll work alongside Historic England to preserve any items of heritage interest, ensuring they are safely removed and transported to a safe location.”

National Highways demolish historic cottages as part of £1bn road scheme

Demolition and site clearance of Brook Cottages began this week and is expected to take four weeks to complete.

The first step will be to remove the items of heritage interest by hand.

Work on the £1bn highways improvement scheme under way. PHOTO: Drone Photos Sandy

Work on the £1bn highways improvement scheme under way. PHOTO: Drone Photos Sandy

“Once complete, a specialist team will remove any hazardous materials such as asbestos,” says National Highways.

“The final part of the project will see machinery used to remove the thatched roof and dismantle the timber frame from top to bottom.

Work on the £1bn highways improvement scheme under way. PHOTO: Drone Photos Sandy

Work on the £1bn highways improvement scheme under way. PHOTO: Drone Photos Sandy

“Once complete, we’ll press ahead with the construction of the new free flowing link between the A421 eastbound carriageway and the A1 northbound carriageway.”

 

 

 

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