Demolition affront to conservation area
Plans to demolish historic buildings in Middlesbrough rely on a bizarre and unfair comparison
photo copyright: Evening Gazette
The historic nineteenth century buildings at 15 - 25 Albert Road are in a conservation area. Yet the proposal is to demolish them completely and replace with new office buildings.
The proposal relies on a bizarre and unfair comparison between old and new. Demolition plans submitted to the council show the poor state of the old buildings as they are currently. The buildings are then compared to highly flattering images of the proposed new offices. The plans do not show what these historic buildings could look like if they were renovated or used as part of a more sympathetic redevelopment.
The plans have been strongly criticised by the Victorian Society. 'The buildings that are to be demolished are just the sort of buildings that the conservation area was designated to protect,' said Chris Costelloe, Conservation Adviser for the Society. 'They are historic, characterful and irreplaceable. Middlesbrough would be less interesting if they were lost. Inadequate justification has been provided for their demolition and we strongly challenge the idea that this type of development is the answer to the area's economic woes.'
The Victorian Society has written to Middlesbrough Council to persuade it to take a responsible and sustainable approach to its local heritage and its own conservation area.
Tuesday 19 June, 2012