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Concern over damaging proposals for historic Durham site

Plans to build three large houses in the grounds of a Victorian water pumping station have been criticised by the Victorian Society.

Courtesy of Woodlet/via Flickr

The proposals for the Grade II*-listed Dalton Pumping Station in Cold Hesledon near Seaham also include converting part of the historic building into six flats.

The Society is concerned that the development will damage the setting of the listed building and leave the historically important engine house and tower without a secure future.

'Dalton Pumping Station was designed to sit in isolation within its own formal landscape,' said Chris Costelloe, Conservation Adviser for the Victorian Society. 'Any development within this landscape would need to be strongly justified and the architecture of high quality. This proposal fails on both counts.'

Dalton Pumping Station was designed by the celebrated Victorian engineer, Thomas Hawksley as one of a network of finely designed pumping stations that drew water from the ground.

It has not been used for pumping water since its electrical supply was damaged by bombing during World War II.

Mr Costelloe added: 'We welcome the reuse of the site but we cannot have a situation where the flats and houses are built while the engine room and tower are neglected. Any plans for the pumping station must include a guarantee that the attractive and largely intact engine room is restored and maintained.'

The Victorian Society has written to Durham Country Council to recommend it refuses consent and instead calls for new proposals.

 

Thursday 17 November, 2011

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