Norwich landmark set to vanish as work starts to remove city gasometer

The Cremorne Lane gasometer, pictured in June 1961. Picture: EDP Library

The Cremorne Lane gasometer, pictured in June 1961. Picture: EDP Library - Credit: Archant

One of the final two gas holders in Norwich is set to disappear, after work began to dismantle a landmark which towered over the city for more than 50 years.

The gasometer as it looks today. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

The gasometer as it looks today. Picture by SIMON FINLAY. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

National Grid this week started preparatory work to take apart the gas holder and associated buildings at Cremorne Lane, in Thorpe Hamlet.

It will take several months to remove the gas holder, which is no longer in use. It has been a part of the city since 1958.

Once prepared and ready for dismantling, National Grid will remove the gas holder shell using cutting equipment and will carefully lower it to the ground by using plant excavators. The metal gas holder shell will then be taken to a facility for recycling.

And that could pave the way for the controversial £370m Generation Park. Developers, including the University of East Anglia, hope to build a 30-acre utility site on land between Thorpe Hamlet and Whitlingham.

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Sam Rendell, land regeneration manager at National Grid, said: 'Cremorne Lane has played an important part in providing gas to Norwich for decades but improvements in the way we store gas mean it is no longer needed.

'By regenerating this site we hope it can be put to a better use in the future.

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'Preserving gas heritage is important to us. We are looking at ways to keep alive the memory of the gasholder and the industrial history it represents.'

The Generation Park scheme, which would have to get permission from Norwich City Council, Broadland District Council and the Broads Authority, would include a straw pellet-burning energy plant and 120 homes.

But the proposals have sparked opposition. Opponents have expressed concerns about pollution from the plant, with its 90m high chimney and last month protested outside City Hall.

The developers say the height of the chimney would mean emissions would be at a very high level, dispersed far away from the city.

Once the Cremorne Lane gas holder goes, the only one left in Norwich will be at Gas Hill.

The Norwich Society has hopes of getting that 16-sided survivor, which dates back to 1880, listed.

Meanwhile, The National Grid is looking at ways that the history of the Cremorne Lane site can be celebrated. It is inviting people to contact them with their memories or photos on 0800 8402750 or email

• What do you think? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email

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