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Demolition of listed pump house would make a mockery of Hull’s maritime heritage

An important piece of Hull’s Victorian maritime heritage is at risk of demolition.

St Andrew's Dock Hydraulic Tower and Pump House, both grade II-listed

The Grade II-listed pump house, one of only four buildings that are left standing at St Andrew’s Dock, would be demolished as part of a new planning application submitted to Hull council last month.

Historic England, Hull’s Conservation Officer and the Victorian Society have already submitted their strong objections to this scheme which seeks to demolish the pump house and leave the adjoining two-storey hydraulic tower standing alone, undermining its historical significance as the legibility of its function would be lost.

The incredibly brief planning application does not even propose any kind of redevelopment scheme for the site, so this vestige of Hull’s strong maritime history would simply be bulldozed leaving nothing but a bare patch of land in its wake.

Both the hydraulic tower and pump house are Grade II-listed structures, listed for their architectural and historical significance. The building dates from the 1870s, when Hull’s thriving fishing industry was in full swing and St Andrew’s Dock was at the centre of production. The operation of the dock is still within the living memory of many: in the 1950s, 20% of Hull’s population worked in the fishing industry.

James Hughes, Senior Conservation Officer at the Victorian Society, condemned the ‘gross insensitivity’ of the scheme, particularly at a time when Hull is the focus of the European Capital of Culture festivities.

“St Andrew’s Dock is central to the identity of a city that is largely defined by its maritime heritage,” he said. “The substantial loss of this listed building would strike at the very heart of this identity and would make a mockery of the ongoing cultural celebrations.” 

Tuesday 11 July


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