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Solent Flour Mills: Art deco building demolition to go ahead

image captionThe Solent Flour Mills building has dominated the skyline of the docks for more than 80 years

Plans to demolish a landmark art deco industrial building on Southampton's waterfront are set to go ahead.

Associated British Ports (ABP) said work would start to bring down the Solent Flour Mills building at Western Docks "in the near future".

Heritage campaigners had called for the 86-year-old building to be saved and said its loss would be "a tragedy for Southampton".

ABP said none of the proposals to reuse the building were "appropriate".

The mill, built on newly reclaimed land at the docks in the 1930s, has been unused since Hovis ceased milling operations in 2018.

Historic England turned down an application to have it listed in 2019.

In January ABP announced its intention to raze the building under permitted development rules.

More than 1,000 people signed a petition calling for it to be saved.

'Opportunity missed'

Kate Baker, great-daughter of the architect Sir Alfred Gelder, said it was "an extremely important part of our city's identity", according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

"There are very few well-designed buildings of that period in the 1920s that survived the devastation of the Second World War in Southampton.

"We cannot afford to lose any of the few remaining high quality buildings left."

City councillor Sarah Bogle said it could have been "Southampton's answer to the Baltic, Tate Modern or Battersea Power Station".

"I just seems like an opportunity missed to not repurpose at least some of this unique building into the regeneration of our great city."

ABP said it had received "a number of proposals" for alternative uses for the building.

"Unfortunately none of the proposals were appropriate for a site inside a busy working port and none had secured funding.

"The demolition will clear the area for future development which will help us to bring much needed jobs to boost the local economy."

Demolition work is expected to last 40 weeks.

Related Topics

  • Southampton
  • Architecture

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