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A large housing estate in Sheffield could become Britain's largest modern listed building. ...
A large housing estate in Sheffield could become Britain's largest modern listed building.

English Heritage today announced that Park Hill, 'an imposing 1950s council estate that dominates the city skyline' housing 2000 tenants, has been recommended for grade II listing. Eighteen other public housing schemes have also been recommended as outstanding examples of modern architecture.

Martin Cherry, head of listing for English Heritage, said:

'Park Hill has been likened to a medieval fortress, a glittering cliff-face of windows.'

'With housing estates the overall impact of the design relies heavily on repeated details - windows, doors, balconies, stairs and walkways. If Park Hill and the other recommended estates are listed, English Heritage will work closely with local authorities and residents to ensure that any alterations and improvements are well designed, of a high quality and respectful of the estate's special character.'

Park Hill was the first estate in the country to have pedestrian 'streets in the sky', replicating the community spirit of terraced housing. It was the first estate in England, and one of the first in Europe, to include flats, shops, pubs and other amenities all under the same roof.

English Heritage admits there is a bias towards London in its recommendations, but says that this reflects the fact that London County Council was one of the few city authorities to employ architects and to strive for quality.

Others, in the desperate attempt to reach government targets for the provision of new homes, relied instead on the cheap builders' systems which have earned council flats in general a bad name.

A full list of the recommended buildings can be obtained by phoning Gary Henson, News Editor, LGCNet, on 0171-833 7324.

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