A historic former gate watch house based within the Albert Dock is earmarked for vital maintenance.
Liverpool’s most famous dock has morphed from its original trading origins into a hotspot of entertainment, dining and culture. Within its historic walls however, remain unique features members of the public may not even realise are there.
Among them are a former gate watch house, turned pumping station, which has fallen into disrepair. The 19th century single storey building has since been repurposed by United Utilities to become a pumping station for the River Mersey.
Such is the damage to the small building, an application has been made to Liverpool Council to bring it back into shape. According to a design and access statement submitted by the water company, the station on Gower Street has been exposed to water ingress owing to a number of roof tiles either slipping, breaking or been blown off.
The statement said: “The windows are constructed of timber frame and the glazing is subject to vandalism, and have had to be replaced a number of times, one of the windows is currently boarded up as the glazing has been damaged. The building houses controls to the wastewater pumping station and the proposals of work are to ensure we are able to continue the use of this building and keep it in a good state of repair.”
The proposed maintenance works will involve replacing cracked roof tiles with Welsh slate roof tiles to match, with additional tiles used to fit on the curved details of the roof. The original guttering and joints to the building – which can’t be accessed by the public – will be repaired.
A heritage statement accompanying the plans identified the former watchhouse as a non-designated heritage asset, deriving from its mid-19th century origins. The report added: “The proposed appearance of the pumping station will conform with the character and appearance of the subject of this listing.
“The works will be completed in a sympathetic manner as detailed and will match the existing appearance as far as possible to minimise the impact. Replacing the existing glazed windows with frosted tempered safety glass will discourage vandalism and prevent the need to board up the windows which will improve the appearance of the building.”
A date has yet to be set for the plans to be considered by Liverpool Council’s planning department.