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Council backs plan to save ship-shaped former newspaper office

The council charged with the future of a demolition-threatened former newspaper office has revealed its “strong support” for the building being listed.

As previously reported on HTFP, campaigners are trying to save the award-winning ship-shaped former headquarters of the Plymouth Herald and Western Morning News from the bulldozers.

Its owner, Daily Mail General Trust, has previously stated the building is “unviable” and “in a poor state of repair”, and would aim to get demolition crews on site within 12 weeks should the green light be given.

But a new report on the proposal reveals that Plymouth City Council has now given its backing for plans to give the building, pictured below, Grade II listed status.


The report, produced by Historic England, states: “The assistant director for planning and infrastructure of Plymouth City Council has written on behalf of the council in strong support of the listing of the building.

“He states that Plymouth City Council strongly supports the listing of the building.”

It adds: “We are certain that the building possesses special architectural interest and warrants listing, even now only 24 years after its construction began.

“We have no doubt as to the special interest of the Western Morning News building, the significance of the architect and of this building within his oeuvre.”

Historic England, formerly English Heritage, is urging the authority’s planning chiefs to postpone any decision on the site’s future until after the election, because the final decision on whether the building will be given listed status falls with the Culture Secretary.

The award-winning building, designed by architect Sir Nicholas Grimshaw, housed the sister dailies between 1993 and 2013 before they moved to a base closer to Plymouth city centre.

DMGT, which retained the ownership of the building after the papers were sold to Local World, has not yet commented publicly on the plans to demolish the building.

However the Hearld reports that it has put forward nine arguments in support of demolition – including that the building is starting to rust, is not as unique as claimed, that is suffers from solar glare and that its out-of-town location was “ill-conceived”.


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  • April 28, 2015 at 10:02 am

    After DMGT’s hideous latter day record of starving its regional media arm of investment, neglecting it and finally casting it off to be run by the loony bin (while the Derry Street mob still collected tidy profits, of course) isn’t it nice to see someone stand up to them and not just roll over under their profit-driven steamroller?

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  • April 28, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    So the building’s totally unsuitable for anything, it seems, and should never have been built at all. So were the suits in charge idiots then, or are they idiots now, or was it a different lot of idiots for whose decisions the new lot of idiots can’t in any way be held responsible?

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