Poll: As Norwich’s iconic gas towers look set to be dismantled would you be sad to see the landmarks go?
- Credit: Archant Norfolk
For decades their massive metal frames have towered over Norwich, but the city's last remaining gas holders could now be facing the final fall.
Distinctive 'gasometers' have formed part of the city's skyline since Victorian times. But the National Grid has confirmed one of just two remaining will be dismantled within months.
The gas holder at the bottom of Cremorne Lane, which cost £200,000 when it was built in 1957, is to be dismantled this spring. And the huge 16-sided survivor on Gas Hill, which dates back to 1880, is also earmarked to be taken down in the future.
The possible dismantling of the Gas Hill gas holder, one of three which once stood in the area, comes despite it being locally listed and Norwich City Council hoping it could be preserved as part of a housing development.
In its local plan – a blueprint for development in the city – the council marks the site for up to 15 homes.
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But it states: 'Since the gas holder is locally listed and a significant local landmark, consideration should be given to retaining the existing gas holder structures as part of the design of the housing development.'
A National Grid spokeswoman said the Gas Hill gas holder is on its list for dismantling, but added: 'At some point in the future we are looking to bring the Gas Hill site back into beneficial use. We take the preservation of heritage very seriously and we'll liaise with the council at the appropriate time.'
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Victoria Manthorpe, administrator of civic watchdog The Norwich Society, said members of the group were keen to get the gas holder listed with English Heritage.
The end of the Cremorne Lane gas holder is more certain. The University of East Anglia is hoping to build Generation Park – including a straw burner and homes – where it currently stands.
Whether that happens or not, the gas holder will go. The National Grid spokeswoman said: 'The gas holder is scheduled to be dismantled this spring, irrespective of the planning decision, as it is no longer in use.'
However, people will still be able to see a gas holder in Fakenham, where one stands as part of the town's Museum of Gas.
Would you be sad to see the gas holders go? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.