Portsmouth Naval Base buildings left to rot, says report

CONCERN Portsmouth Naval Base
CONCERN Portsmouth Naval Base
Jacquie Shaw of the NMRN

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HISTORIC buildings in Portsmouth Naval Base have been placed on an ‘at-risk’ list by English Heritage.

The Store Yard Services Manager’s Office on Jago Road, the old Iron and Brass Foundry on Victoria Road, and the No.6 Dock in Basin No.1 at the naval base are singled out in a report published today about problem buildings and monuments in the south east.

Alan Johnson, who is an historic buildings architect for English Heritage’s government estates unit, said: ‘We are very worried about these structures.

‘The No.6 dock is a scheduled ancient monument but it has not been used for decades and has not been maintained.

‘Its walls are crumbling and ultimately it will collapse in on itself.’

He added: ‘Portsmouth Naval Base is full of history.

‘Its buildings capture a great moment in time when Britain was an industrial leader in the world. If we lose these buildings we will lose something that can not be replaced.’

The report comes as English Heritage officials meet the MoD’s estate team at the naval base today to discuss the buildings. English Heritage has been campaigning for years to save historic military sites in and around Portsmouth and pushed for a £2m project to restore the Block Mills in the naval base in 2007.

Mr Johnson, who has been involved with Portsmouth Naval Base since 2005, said: ‘These buildings could be put to better use but the dockyard seems to be especially indecisive and uncertain when it comes to older buildings. If they can’t find a use for them, maybe somebody else can.’