Lifebuoys and security fence planned for Sunderland industrial museum

Plans to install a security fence and life-saving buoys at a heritage visitor attraction are set for approval by city councillors.

Tuesday, 26th June 2018, 3:12 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th June 2018, 5:49 pm

Next week, Sunderland City Council’s (SCC) area development control sub-committee will discuss new plans for the grade II-listed Ryhope Engines Museum.

The Ryhope Pumping Station was was built in 1868 to supply water to the Sunderland area and stopped operating in 1967 after 100 years of continuous use.

New proposals by Northumbrian Water hope to improve health and safety on the site by installing four lifebuoy posts near the open reservoir water tanks.

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This includes “safeguarding general health, safety and public wellbeing” in the case that “either deliberate or accidental entry to the open reservoir water tanks is made,” a report states.

A 1.6 metre high security fence is also proposed by the applicant, which would be set back within the larger site.

Built to the designs of architect Thomas Hawksley, the pumping station is known for its classical style and boiler house chimney that can seen for miles around.

As part of its role as a museum, two boiler engines are kept in use by volunteer members of the Ryhope Engines Trust for public demonstrations.

A planning report concludes: “The four lifebuoy stands are a minor addition to the site, easily reversible and of minimal visual impact and recognised as essential for health and safety reasons.”

While the security fence will have a visual impact, it adds, key views of the pumping station and the relationship between the station, gatehouse and workers cottages will not be affected.

The works are also subject to listed building consent being granted with a final decision resting with councillors on Monday, July 2.

South Sunderland’s development control sub-committee will meet at Sunderland Civic Centre at 4pm.

For more information, visit: www.sunderland.gov.uk

Chris Binding , Local Democracy Reporting Service