Cumann Seandalaiochta agus Staire Phort Lairge

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

WA&HS Submission on proposed demolition of the former R&H Hall Grain Store, Dock Road, Ferrybank, Waterford

Re: Proposed demolition of the former R & H Hall Grain Store, Dock Road, Ferrybank, Waterford.

To Whom It May Concern:

While welcoming wholeheartedly the prospect of the development of the North Quays the committee of the Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society (WAHS) wish to convey their concern regarding the proposed demolition of the former R & H Hall Grain Store (The Hennebique Building).

The committee is of the firm opinion that the building forms a unique part of the city's built heritage. The R & H Hall Grain Store has been included in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage. It has been attributed a rating value of ‘National Importance’.  The building itself is the last remaining tangible link to a site which was part of the thriving maritime history of Waterford. White’s shipyard, grain stores, a water powered mill and a box factory occupied this site in the 19th century.

 While recognising that the building presents considerable conservation challenges a number of uses in the arts and cultural area could be explored. Possible uses could include a maritime museum, an industrial museum, archive and exhibition space. These uses would reflect the city's unique maritime  and industrial past. The retention of the building itself would form a visible testament to that heritage.

The floor to ceiling height in the building has been cited as a considerable disadvantage. The floor to ceiling height is 2650mm, except for the top floor where it is 3800mm. The old Bond Store in the Tullamore Distillery has a floor to ceiling height of 2000mm and operates as an attractive and successful visitor centre. Many such buildings around the world have been successfully preserved and given a new life. The committee feels that the previous conservation work, done by the City Council, on the old granery store on the Quay and its conversion into what is now the Architectural Department of the WIT could be a model for the conservation of the Hennebique Building. A further example of an imaginative conservation of the Hennibique Building is contained in the submission by Rojo-Studio Architects in 2015 (

The committee would like to draw your attention to aspects of the Waterford City Development Plan 2013-2019 which it feels should inform the ultimate decision on the fate of the building. Section 10.2 of the Plan outlines the policies to be followed in respect of Architectural Heritage.
The following is stated on page 141: '... it is considered essential that every possible tool be used to encourage re-investment in the existing building stock. In this context fiscal instruments will be used wherever possible and the wider context will be considered at all times in the assessment of proposals for redevelopment and greater flexibility in adaptation of existing stock will be allowed, where this is feasible.'

Page 142 outlines the following as an objective of the Development Plan: 'In considering development which may have a significant impact on the architectural heritage to require the preparation and submission of an architectural heritage impact assessment detailing the potential impact of the development on the architectural heritage. The report shall be compiled generally in accordance with the details set out in Appendix B of the
Architectural Heritage Protection Guidelines for Planning Authorities,
Department of the Environment, Heritage & Local Government, 2004. (OBJ 10.2.5)'. Has an architectural heritage impact asessment been carried out?

The committee of WAHS submit that the Hennebique Building is unique and rather than being demolished it should be preserved, conserved and re-used in an imaginative and sensitive way.
Yours sincerely

Adrian Larkin, Chairman WAHS
4 Bromley Avenue, Ardkeen Village, Waterford.  
January 15th 2018

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