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Urgent plea to stop demolition of historic brewery

The Victorian Society is calling on Lancaster City Council to use its powers to save a historic brewery by placing it inside a Conservation Area.

Mitchell's Brewery has told the council that it intends to demolish all its 19th century brewery buildings.

The Brewery, which is off Moor Lane in the centre of the city, has no protection against demolition and a contractor could start demolishing it in less than six weeks. As it stands the council cannot prevent this as is not allowed to refuse permission for demolition, only apply certain conditions.

'The brewery buildings urgently need some protection or Lancaster will lose some of its earliest surviving industrial buildings,' said Kristian Kaminski, Conservation Adviser for the Victorian Society. ‘They make up part of Lancaster's heritage and are a local landmark. Their destruction would be a terrible and unnecessary loss for the city.'

Mitchell's Brewery forms part of the Canal Corridor site earmarked for regeneration by developers, Centros. The £150 million scheme is currently under consideration by the Secretary of State.

In a report published in 2007 English Heritage described the brewery as 'undoubtedly a significant component of the urban landscape' and 'obviously' a building of ‘significance and interest'.

Mr Kaminski added, 'We don't object to appropriate development, but the starting point for the Mitchell's brewery site must be to creatively incorporate as much of the historic building as possible. To knock down attractive and robust buildings and start from scratch is a deeply unsustainable approach.'

The Victorian Society believes the council should use its powers to prevent such an outcome. The Brewery should be placed inside the Lancaster City Centre Conservation Area. This would mean that an application for demolition would be subject to Conservation Area consent, and any changes would have to be seen to preserve or enhance the area. Only then will the brewery buildings stand a chance of being saved for future generations.


A large part of the site was designed by W A Deighton in 1901. Deighton was a well-known brewery architect who was also responsible for the Grade II-listed Cook Street Brewery in Salford.

Monday 26 October, 2009

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