LONDON, UK.- The Culture Department is to 'list' the Red House cold store, which is part of the former fish market in London's historic Smithfield Market. This is now thought to be the oldest surviving building of its type in the country, and will become a Grade II listed building.
Applications to list two other buildings on the site have been turned down.
Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell has also written to the Deputy Prime Minister asking him to take account of the views which she has received and of her announcement, when he considers whether to call-in the current planning proposals which require the demolition of these buildings.
Tessa Jowell said: "The Government is committed to helping protect and preserve the best of our built heritage. It is a precious part of the public realm today, and an important legacy for the future.
"These buildings in Smithfield Market have been the subject of listing applications before. But, having been turned down in the past, there would need to be new evidence to justify changing that decision now. I have taken expert advice, and considered the views of many, but I am not convinced that there is a case for listing the General Market Building or the triangular Lavatory Block.
"New evidence has come to light in the case of the Red House, however. We now know that it is very probably the earliest existing example of a purpose-built powered cold store, and this newly-discovered historical context – together with further expert opinion on the quality of the building's exterior – persuade me that there is now a case for giving it the extra protection that listing brings."
She concluded: "Smithfield as a whole is a Conservation Area, and has an important place in London's heritage. Any proposal for redevelopment and demolition of its buildings will rightly need the most careful consideration by the planning authorities. Many of the letters and other representations which I have received have emphasised the strong contribution which these buildings make to the townscape of the Conservation Area. That is why I am writing to the Deputy Prime Minister so that he is able to take those views into account, when deciding whether he should call-in the development proposals involving these buildings which are currently before the City Corporation."