Listed status proposed for Craigavon Bridge

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The Department of Environment is consulting Derry City Council on the listing of six more buildings and proposed delisting of three.

Commenting on the latest proposals, Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said: ‘Listing these additional buildings in Derry will be a further boost for the city. The listing of the iconic Craigavon Bridge, so synonymous with our city, is, for example, a key symbol of both Derry’s past and future growth.

“These new listings reflect Derry’s varied and diverse history and will ensure these important assets are preserved and protected as part of the city’s rich tapestry.

“They will also further enhance the marketing of the city as a great place to work, visit and invest. My department and I continue to be committed to ensuring that our environment is recognised and utilised to its full potential to deliver a better economy and quality of life for all.”

Craigavon Bridge is an important early Twentieth Century road bridge with Art Deco details and the only two tiered bridge in Northern Ireland. The other new listings include two good examples of late Georgian town houses within the city walls, an Edwardian commercial building outside Castle Gate, recently conserved to a high standard as part of the Townscape Heritage Initiative scheme, a Victorian commercial building next door which is complementary to the already listed Grand Central Bar, and the former Rossdowney School on Glendermott Road which is a fine example of a simple, well proportioned, pre First World War school building.

The consultation results from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency’s (NIEA) Second Survey. This has seen surveyors examining and researching the built heritage of Derry from June 2014. The consultation submitted to the Council is the second main submission with further planned over coming months.

As part of that process, the council is also being asked for its views on the potential removal of three buildings from the list. Survey work has revealed that these buildings, 22,23 and 24 Bonds Hill, were rebuilt as replicas in the mid 1990’s following engineers reports that the original buildings were in poor structural condition. They can, therefore, not be considered historic buildings.

To date , NIEA has reviewed the survey findings on some 361 additional listed buildings in the Council area and has concluded that all are to remain on the list. Most of the extra detail and evaluation now carried out will be made available to the public and researchers via the NIEA website over the next few months.

There are currently 477 listed buildings within the Derry City Council Area, not all of these have yet been surveyed and re-evaluated by NIEA.

A consultation submitted in November 2014 proposed the addition of nine buildings to the list and the removal of six. Final decisions have not yet been taken on these proposals.

Surveyors from Consarc Conservation Architects, employed on contract to NIEA, have been recording and researching the historic buildings of the Council area in detail since mid 2014. This work involves a detailed photographic and descriptive record inside and out and parallel historical research. This information is compared to Criteria for Listing published in Annex C of Planning Policy Statement 6 (March 2011). Architects within NIEA consider this data and make recommendations to the City Council and the Historic Buildings Council. Owners are also informed. A final decision is taken by the Department, relative to the criteria, once these views have been considered.

Once processed, external information and historical research is published on the Northern Ireland Buildings Database on NIEA’s website.

Four electoral wards within the Council Area were reviewed to the Standard of the Second Survey in 2000.

The Buildings proposed for listing this month are: Craigavon Bridge - an important early Twentieth Century road bridge; A&B 22 London Street and 23 Pump Street– good examples of late Georgian town houses; 25 Strand Road - a Victorian commercial building; Leckpatrick Building (former Rossdowney Primary School); 16-24 Waterloo St / 1, 3 & 4 Castle Gate- an Edwardian commercial building.