PART of York’s waterfront heritage could be torn down after being branded a safety risk.

An application has been made to City of York Council for a crane gantry which stands on the western bank of the River Ouse, on Queens Staith, to be demolished.

The iron structure, which has been a familiar riverside site for more than 100 years and was once part of the Ouse’s role as an industrial quayside, juts out from the Skeldergate building where York Sea Cadets are based and stands on three pillars.

The charity needs to secure permission to bring down the gantry because it is within the city’s conservation area.

In a statement to the council outlining the reasons why demolition is being sought, Paul Sutermeister, chairman of the Sea Cadets, said: “The gantry has long been redundant and is considered a dangerous structure by the building control department at City of York Council.

“The removal of the gantry will not affect any public activity and will make the area a safer place. “Once removed, there will be no management or maintenance requirements or issues.”

A decision on whether the crane can be demolished is expected to be made by council planners early in the New Year.

The North Riding Branch of the Inland Waterways Association has written to the authority to say the scheme, if approved, will mean part of York’s industrial history being lost.

In its letter, the association said: “We appreciate it is redundant these days, but its existence tells us of when the River Ouse was a working river.

“What a shame some grant could not be found to maintain its existence for historic value and for those who find it historically significant.”

The crane earmarked for demolition – which is believed to have been built during the Victorian era – stands next to a larger gantry connected to the Woodsmill Quay warehouse building, which is not affected by the Sea Cadets’ application.