Prevent demolition of the Ship building in Derriford, Plymouth
This petition made change with 452 supporters!
Please object to the proposed demolition of the 'Ship' building at Derriford.
Please sign this petition to object to the proposed demolition of the 'Ship Building' at Derriford for the following reasons as quoted by the Plymouth Architectural Trust:
"Sustainability: Paragraph 15 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) sets out a presumption in favour of sustainable development. Furthermore, Proposal DS05 of the
Derriford and Seaton Area Action Plan (2012), states that “the Council recognises the need to
reduce the city’s carbon footprint as part of its response to climate change, delivering the
government’s move towards low or zero carbon development” (DASAAP, Plymouth City
Council, 2012). It is not sustainable to demolish a building, particularly one of architectural
significance, after only 22 years. To achieve minimum carbon footprint and maximum
sustainability, the building should be re-purposed, and efforts to secure this should receive the
proactive support of the Local Authority and Planning Department, using all the planning and
economic tools that they have at their disposal.
Place shaping: Core Strategy, Strategic Objective 3 'Delivering Sustainable Linked
Communities' and, Policy CS01 'Development of Sustainable Linked Communities', emphasisethe importance of promoting a positive sense of place and identity for each neighbourhood in
Plymouth. The Western Morning News Building makes a significant contribution to the
creation of a distinctive local character in an area which is otherwise lacking in architectural
value. To permit its demolition would be to undermine the core strategy objective of promotinga positive sense of place and identity for Derriford.
Urban form / Historic assets: furthermore, Strategic Objective 1 of the Derriford and Seaton
AAP, sets out to ensure that local development protects the area’s historic assets, by enhancing
their role, setting and prominence in a way that adds richness to the urban form. Policy DS01, point 2, also refers to the need consider “careful use of landmark buildings / public art in key locations” (DASAAP, Plymouth City Council, 2012). The Western Morning News Building is Plymouth’s most significant building of the late 20th century, and whilst it has not yet been formally recognised as a historic asset, this is surely only a matter of time. To permit its demolition would be to directly contradict the strategic ambition to enhance the role of historic assets, it would destroy the only existing landmark building in the area, and would in no way
add richness to the local urban form.
Land speculation: It is also important to set this application in the wider planning context of the
consequences of the Derriford and Seaton Area Action Plan in terms of land value. The
Derriford and Seaton AAP sets out an ambition “to deliver a significant new District Centre at
Derriford, that better serves northern Plymouth, making it more self sufficient, along with
prioritising more sustainable methods of access.” It states that “There is a real opportunity to
coordinate development, as well as re-orientate infrastructure, to create a new, modern,
inspirational and sustainable urban centre” (DASAAP, Plymouth City Council, 2012). The
Western Morning News Building sits on the edge of this proposed District Centre. This makes
the building vulnerable to property speculation as a consequence of the land value uplift that is
potentially conferred the Council’s pro-development policy. Plymouth City Council has a duty
to protect the city’s architectural heritage from the commercial speculations that arise as a result
of their own planning policy.
Employment use: the Western Morning News Building is located in an area which is zoned
within the Derriford and Seaton AAP for “employment-led mixed use”. Plymouth City Council
should recognise that the best way to protect the employment-led ambitions for the site is to retain
the existing building and help its owner to secure a commercial tenant. Demolition poses a threat
not only to building, but to the retention of long-term employment use.
Finally we wish to draw your attention to the fact that Plymouth has no other late 20 century
buildings of importance, and none by architects of Grimshaw’s calibre. The demolition of the
Western Morning News Building would significantly damage the national and international
reputation of the city as a destination in which architecture is respected, and landmark buildings
are valued. If demolition is permitted, developers will struggle to attract architects of national
and international repute to undertake commissions within the city. Given the high value of
landmark architecture as a driver of economic and cultural development, this could be fatal to
Plymouth’s wider ambitions to achieve international prominence as Britain’s Ocean City.
We strongly urge you to refuse prior approval for the demolition of the Western Morning News
Building on the above grounds, and to urgently assess the City Council’s options for proactively
encouraging the building’s retention and reuse."
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