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York Sea Cadets put crane demolition plans on hold
PLANS to demolish an historic waterfront crane in York have been shelved.
York Sea Cadets applied to City of York Council in November for permission to demolish a gantry which juts out from their Skeldergate base, on the western bank of the River Ouse, because it had been deemed a safety risk after standing there for more than a century.
But the move led to appeals for the Queen’s Staith crane, which is believed to have been built during Victorian times, to be preserved as it forms part of York’s riverside heritage. A decision on whether it should be pulled down was due to be made early this year, but the application has now been withdrawn.
York Sea Cadets were unavailable for comment yesterday on the reasons for withdrawing the application and whether it would be resubmitted in the future. The charity needed planning permission to demolish the gantry because it stands within York’s conservation area.
The iron structure, which stands next to a larger crane connected to the old Woodmills building, was once part of the industrial port along the Ouse.
When the Cadets applied for permission to remove it, its chairman Paul Sutermeister said it had “long been redundant” and the council’s building control department considered it to be “a dangerous structure”, adding that demolition would take away the need for management and maintenance costs.
However, the Micklegate planning panel, which covers the area where the crane stands, subsequently asked for talks to be held about whether the gantry could be kept in some form, as it was “a reminder of the industrial past of the area” and its disappearance would be “deeply regretted”.
The North Riding Branch of the Inland Waterways Association also wrote to the council to say approving the plans would mean part of York’s industrial history being wiped away, while York conservation campaigner Alison Sinclair said in a letter to The Press that demolishing the gantry would be “detrimental to the character” of the conservation area.