Thirty years ago Prince Charles making a speech to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Royal Institute of British Architects described an extension to the elegant facade of the National Gallery as a Monstrous Carbuncle. I wonder what his comments would be over the now completed New Wessex House or as many in Somerton refer to it as, “Hopeless House”.
This finished building is completely out of character with its surroundings as it towers over almost every building on the town. How planning permission for such a monstrous carbuncle that blots our landscape was every given is beyond me. Considering this whole event was promoted and pushed by the former Chairman of Somerton Town Council, Mr. Fraser-Hopewell and the current Vice Chair of Somerton Town Council, Cllr Davies, who by the way are active members of SHBT (Somerton Historic Buildings Trust) and are now along with other members of the trust are actively campaigning to for funds to acquire the Old Town Hall. The Old Town Hall is a wonderful old building and deserves to be preserved, though not necessarily in the manner SHBT’s members propose, strange then that the same members of SHBT also support the horribly imposing Hopeless House.
I am lead to believe the “grand opening” will be in May and no doubt the ex Chair of Somerton Town Council will be there is some capacity or other to see his “vision” of a new Somerton come to life. I feel sorry for those who’s lives have been blighted by this eye sore and yet the Town has still to recognise and cope with the increase of traffic and parking problems this facility will create on our already busy roads and insufficient parking space once it is open for business.