POOLE Civic Centre is now officially a Grade II listed building, giving it enhanced protection against any future redevelopment plans.

The Society For Poole initiated the application with Historic England, amid concerns the "heritage of Poole could be eroded" following the creation of the BCP Council.

Earlier this month the Daily Echo reported how plans to create a single office hub and make hundreds of job cuts had been outlined by BCP Council as part of the next phase of local government reorganisation – a move which is hoped will save as much as £37 million a year.

In a report to cabinet, BCP Council director of resources Julian Osgathorpe said no decision had been made on whether the hub would be one of its existing buildings, such as the Civic Centre, or whether a new headquarters would be created.

However, back in 2016 Poole Civic Centre was included in the Poole Local Plan, which was essentially a blueprint of possible future redevelopment drawn up by then then Borough of Poole, as a site where 350 new homes could be built.

While the Grade II listing does not prohibit redevelopment of the site, it does put up a significant layer of protection and means Historic England will have to be consulted on any future plans.

Society of Poole chairman Mike Pearce told the Daily Echo: "We were concerned that as part of the BCP conurbation that the heritage of Poole could be eroded.

"This is an iconic landmark building of Poole which was built in the 1930s when Poole was its own county and had its own sheriff.

"It was a matter of civic pride to design and incorporate local features within the building.

"The interior, as well as the exterior, is significant –especially in the main council chamber.

"We thought there was a layer of historical preservation that needs to be put on it so we could maintain as much as possible of the character and feel of the building."

Mr Pearce says he is particularly concerned with preserving the interior of the Civic Centre, as it had been proved – with the development of the neighbouring police station site – that new apartments did not necessitate the demolition of the exterior fabric of the building.

"We are not opposed to development in Poole," said Mr Pearce. "We are positive about the future development and growth of Poole, but in the right way.

"Potentially we thought that someone could come along an basically gut the inside, and that is what we wanted to protect.

"The Civic Centre is part of the heritage of the town."

Poole Civic Centre was constructed in 1931-32.

According to Historic England it is a"prominent and accomplished" civic building which has "distinct quality and presence."

Of particular note are the decorative and symbolic elements which are integral to the building and its design such as the bas relief panels by Percival Wise and floor mosaics by Carter & Co, Historic England added.

It was first listed on the register on October 7, 2019.

Listed buildings can be altered, extended and sometimes even demolished within government planning guidance.

A Historic England spokesman said: "The local authority uses listed building consent to make decisions that balance the site's historic significance against other issues, such as its function, condition or viability.

"Historic England will be consulted after being notified by the local authority.