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Historic Odessa Crane demolition decision due next week

The planning application to demolish the red crane in Rotherhithe to make way for a housing development will be decided by Southwark Council’s Planning Committee on Tuesday.

The proposed development in Odessa Street by Hollybrook Homes would see the Scotch Derrick crane scrapped and recycled as a sculpture by Surrey Docks Farm’s artist Kevin Boys, to sit by the Thames.

The plan has attracted opposition from residents in the area, however, who started a petition to save the crane in July, which gathered more than 360 signatures.

Originally protected by a “protective covenant” with the Greater London Authority by The London Docklands Development Corporation in 1998, it lost this safeguard in January 2014 under the direction of former London Mayor, Boris Johnson.

Hollybrook Homes said that they explored ways to include the crane in the development over the past eighteen months, but due to it falling into disrepair in recent years it wasn’t deemed viable.

More recently, the Greater London Industrial Archaeology Society objected to the demolition on the basis that it has “become an appreciated historical feature” that has “grown considerably in archaeological value from the loss of other cranes”.


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