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Historic Roof Lantern destroyed on Embassy Buildings in Formby's only conservation area

Formby historians and residents fury over the historic wooden structure that has been removed from the top of Embassy Buildings on Green Lane in Formby.

Embassy Buildings is in the only conservation area in our Bubble and dates back to 1928. The wooden structure which is called a roof lantern, was removed by the owners, City of Liverpool Investment Company a few weeks ago to the shock of residents.

Formby Bubble, along with residents were also shocked and upset at losing this historic structure on one of the most important buildings in Formby. We have since discovered that the wooden structure was actually smashed up and thrown into a skip! We are hoping that it will be replaced by the owners but we are still waiting for a response from them.

John Phillips of The Formby Civic Society has released this statement: "When Formby people first alerted the Civic Society about what appears to have been the removal of an integral roof feature of the old Embassy Cinema, we were quite shocked. We still are."

"Formby has just one Conservation Area and this old building, though generally giving an appearance of being poorly well-maintained, is almost the 'gateway' to the area down Green Lane. The Conservation Area is protected by strong national legislation and monitored and enforced locally by Sefton Council. As soon as we were told, one of our committee members contacted Sefton Council to see what action they would be taking. If the old box on the roof was in need of some repair it needed to be carried out by the current owners of the property, in line with their obligations within a conservation area. If there was any serious problem with it, it was for the owners to inform Sefton Council and resolve the issue through discussion with them."

"The conservation area regulations are there, and exist right across the nation, to protect our heritage from people who do not respect it or do not understand it. That missing item, removed for reasons our community has not been given, should be replaced. We give our full support to the Conservation Officers of Sefton in seeing this happen and have been very happy working with them previously in seeking to preserve, protect and enhance our lovely Conservation Area."

"This is not the first time, I am told, that unplanned changes have been inflicted on this building landmark. If this is allowed to continue we may as well start to forget about Formby's heritage and culture and let anyone do whatever they want anywhere they please. Yet, somehow, I do not think this is how our community thinks. Are we arguing too strongly, perhaps, about one small architectural feature on a rather neglected though still important Formby landmark? No, I don't think we are. When buildings are designed and erected, there are reasons for making it the way it is. This item is a 'roof lantern’ and is an essential element of the original design by Major F.M. Roome of Alexandra Road, Formby: he was very fond of such period features."

"This is the starting point of our Conservation Area and enough is enough: the removed feature is an integral part of the old cinema, a well-recognised local landmark, and it should therefore be replaced as soon as possible."

Formby Bubble spoke to property owners, City of Liverpool Investment Company and their spokesperson, Glynnis, said: "The director is away from the office at the moment but I do know that we have been in conversations with Sefton Council regarding the renovation."

Sefton Council have been asked about the structure but have still not replied."

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Photos provided by Formby Civic Society

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