31 August 2012
Last updated at 11:10 GMT
The crematorium building was built in the 1960s
A last-minute prevention order has blocked the start of renovation work on Salisbury Crematorium.
English Heritage has given the 52-year-old building and its grounds listed status after a late application was made.
Planning permission had been granted for about £2.5m worth of renovation work to start this week.
English Heritage said a quick decision is often made when an historic building is threatened with “major change”.
Planning approval for the work was granted in November. English Heritage was not notified at the time as the building was not then listed.
A member of the public subsequently contacted English Heritage to ask the body to list it.
Salisbury City Council’s John Abbott said he was surprised English Heritage had taken the decision to protect the building.
He said: “It’s a 1960s building, and I think a lot of people would say it doesn’t have any great architectural merit at all.
“But quite clearly English Heritage have thought otherwise.”
‘Good 1960s example’
An English Heritage spokesman said the building was a “good 1960s example of its type” and described the grounds as an “influential example of a crematorium landscape”.
The renovation plans include renewing two cremators, installing mercury abatement and emission control equipment to ensure the site complies with EU regulations, expanding the car park and creating an additional chapel space.
The local authority will now have to resubmit its plans for the building in order to proceed with any work.
Mr Abbott said: “I’m very optimistic that we can, with the advice of planners, find a solution to this problem, which will satisfy English Heritage and will allow us to get on as quickly as possible.
“But there will be a delay as we have to go through a fresh application process.”