THE grandson of the founder of a well known Chester law firm is lamenting the demolition of its Victorian base to make way for the Northgate Development.
Peter Moore Dutton's grandfather Thomas set up Mason & Moore Dutton with Francis Burton Mason in 1890. His uncle Ronnie bought the current premises in Hunter Street which are the subject of a compulsory purchase order.
Mr Moore Dutton, whose family no longer has any financial interest in the firm, believes it's a shame the magnificent building will be lost when the £283m retail and residential scheme takes over this quarter of the city.
'It's not listed and that's the shame of it,' he said. 'I think it's an attractive building and there are so many modern buildings around.
'It's from the Victorian era and there are plenty of Georgian buildings but not many of this sort of Ruabon-brick type building in the centre of Chester. So it's just a contrast to the rest of the buildings.'
'It's got a good front and it's got an extension on the back.'
Mr Moore Dutton, from Tushingham, said Mason & Moore Dutton had experienced enforced change in the past. Its original base in Newgate Street, leased from the Grosvenor Estate, had to be demolished to make way for the Grosvenor shopping centre in the mid 1960s.
It was then that his uncle Ronnie bought what was a family home and doctor's surgery from Dr Robin Taylor to establish the Hunter Street premises, known as Kirkton House.
He understands the firm's next move will be to a building in White Friars where staff will not enjoy the use of a company car park as they do at present.
Mr Moore Dutton said it was also a pity the original Masonic Hall in Princess Street would be demolished. He says a lot of people including himself would rather have seen the area developed in a piecemeal fashion incorporating existing buildings of architectural importance.
He said the demolition of Kirkton House gave a lie to a joint statement from city council leader David Evans and deputy leader John Price who stated: 'The historic town hall will remain untouched at the heart of the development, along with all other buildings of architectural and historic importance.'