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Save the Kasbah! Save Grimsby's globally important fishing heritage!

This petition had 787 supporters

The Victorian Society is urging North East Lincolnshire Council to designate a new conservation area to prevent the demolition of internationally important buildings in what was once the largest fishing port in the world. The Society has urged the Council to take this simple step to protect the buildings for years yet no action has been taken. Associated British Ports’ demolition plan has been condemned by numerous other heritage bodies including the World Monuments Fund and Historic England.

Grimsby’s ‘Kasbah’ dock area has global significance as a unique survivor of an Victorian industrial fishing port. Sadly, much of that heritage has been severely neglected. Associated British Ports (ABP) plans to demolish numerous buildings on the west side of Fish Dock Road, the most important road in the docks, to redevelop the site for the offshore wind industry. ABP argue that these buildings have no historic value. The Victorian Society strongly rejects this view and endorses the World Monument Fund’s statement that the ‘buildings are an integral part of Grimsby’s globally important fishing heritage’. Although not individually listed the loss of these buildings would have a huge impact on the historic docks, its listed buildings and its ability to tell the story of Victorian industrial fishing.  The demolition of these buildings would also harm the significance and setting of numerous listed buildings in the Kasbah including the Grade I-listed Dock Tower and the Grade II*-listed Ice Factory.

Generally, planning permission is not required to demolish buildings like those on Fish Dock Road which are not listed or in a conservation area, as such demolition is ‘permitted development’ for which only ‘prior determination’ is required.  Designating the area as a conservation area would mean planning permission is required for demolition. Historic England has also stressed that permitted development rights do not apply where a development falls under the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2011. It is highly unusual for Historic England to express such serious concerns over the demolition of unlisted buildings outside a conservation area. This reflects its assessment that the surviving buildings in the Kasbah are the ‘most important representation of the industrial-scale fishing trade in England’. 

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