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Urgent appeal to save Grimsby’s heritage

The Victorian Society has written to North East Lincolnshire Council urging it to create a Conservation Area covering part of Grimsby’s fish docks.

The Society believes that key historic buildings at the heart of the town's unique docks need more protection against demolition.

Last year the owners, Associated British Ports, threatened to demolish 14 buildings in the docks, arguing that the derelict structures needed to be knocked down to make the area more attractive to investment.

The Council responded by issuing an Article 4(1) Direction, which removes permitted development rights from an area. Designating a Conservation Area would afford the buildings more protection as any regeneration plans would have to be seen to preserve or enhance the area.

'The historic core of Grimsby docks covers just seven acres out of a total of 443 acres, it is hard to see how the restoration of these buildings would stand in the way of wider investment in the area,' said Chris Costelloe, Conservation Adviser for the Victorian Society.  'There is a clear need for economic regeneration here and the historic docks must be an integral part of this.'

English Heritage and the Prince's Regeneration Trust have said they will support a Heritage Lottery Fund bid if the buildings are in a Conservation Area.

A local trust wants to restore the Grade II*-listed Ice Factory as part of a wider regeneration of the historic docks. In 2010 the Ice Factory was named as one of the Victorian Society's Top Ten Endangered Buildings.

Mr Costelloe added: 'The fish docks are a wonderfully intact reminder of the nation's fishing heritage and the importance of Grimsby. Designating a Conservation Area would recognise this and could prove a catalyst for sensitive regeneration.'

The Victorian Society is now urging the Council to take positive action to prevent this layer of Grimsby's history from being stripped away.

'These buildings have the potential to bring in visitors and tourism. They add greatly to the interest of the town, and represent the soul of Grimsby.'

Friday 17 February, 2012

More recent item: Lancashire hotel development too damaging
Earlier item: Historic St Albans school building at risk

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