Architecture Update: Stormy waters in Portsmouth

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The Independent Culture
THE Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Rev Timothy Bavin, is to exercise his power under the rarely- used 'pastoral measure' to demolish a Grade II listed church in the face of fierce opposition. Hampshire County Council and English Heritage have offered pounds 325,000 towards the repair of St Jude's, Southsea, designed by the developer and architect Thomas Ellis Owen in 1851. Built as a focus for Southsea, the once-fashionable suburb that Owen created between 1837 and 1880, the church's spire is also a navigational aid to ships entering Portsmouth harbour. However, the local vicar is insisting that the church be replaced by a new design by The Sarum Partnership of Salisbury. Although under special ecclesiastical exemption the church authorities can demolish St Jude's, it must apply in the normal way for planning permission for its replacement. The county council and Portsmouth City Council have both pledged to oppose the scheme, and the matter is certain to go to public inquiry.