|Posted by RCI fans on May 22, 2012 at 12:15 PM|
The port of Southampton's famous dock gates have been saved.
The Government have listed them as Grade II buildings, just days before they could have been knocked down to rubble.
When plans by Associated British Ports (ABP), owners and operators of the city’s docks, emerged last month to demolish the distinctive structures, there was a local outcry to save the long-standing landmark gates.
English Heritage campaigned to the Government to protect them. The iconic entrances at Dock Gate 8 and Dock Gate 10 have now been safeguarded for future generations and are officially listed as Grade II buildings.
Heritage watchdog the City of Southampton Society was so concerned over the planned destruction it submitted an application straight away once details of the proposed scheme were made public.
Arthur Jeffery, the society’s vice-chairman, said: “These are art deco style gates and the society feared that they could have gone the same way as the former Ocean Terminal in the Eastern Docks back in 1982.”
Southampton City Council also recommended the gates to be listed, describing them as “a rare and evocative survival of inter-war maritime port structures of clear special architectural and historical interest”.
ABP had wanted permission to demolish the gates and was making preparations for the work to be done at the end of this month.
The port operator argued that the gates, which have stood since the development of the Western Docks in the 1930s, were obstacles standing in the way of progress and demolition would allow bigger loads to enter the port, ease traffic delays and provide extra security facilities.
An ABP spokesman said: “We understand that the Southampton Dock Gates have been listed as Grade II structures. “ABP is of course happy to respect the decision and will take the existing infrastructure into account when planning any future developments.”