Delisted Albert Row up for demolition
An historic terrace near the entrance to Dockyard has been delisted, it has been announced in the Official Gazette.
The notice, dated September 30 and published October 1, said that Walter Roban, the Minister of Home Affairs, had removed Albert Row from the list of protected structures of architectural and historic merit.
The notice added that the decision to remove the terrace, owned by the West End Development Corporation, was made after consultation with the public and the Historic Buildings Advisory Committee.
But Ann Coates, the chairwoman of the UK-based Naval Dockyards Society, said she was “deeply disturbed” by the decision, which she claimed went against advice from Bermuda professionals and organisations.
She added: “The Bermuda Government has thus endorsed Wedco's continuing record of discriminatory managed decay for Dockyard workers' houses, compared with officers' houses and larger commercially profitable properties.”
A government spokesman said the decision to allow demolition was taken after “comprehensive consultation” and that three objections to the proposal were examined.
He added: “It should also be noted that for more than a decade, Wedco has been actively seeking solutions for the Albert Row group of buildings, without success.
“In fact, in December 2015 the general manager of Wedco wrote to the UK-based Naval Dockyards Society requesting assistance with funding and delivering a renovation project for Albert Row — but the society declined to offer financial help.”
Albert Row, on Malabar Road, Ireland Island, Sandys, was Grade 2-listed in 2000 for “special interest and architectural and historical value”.
It once housed tradesmen when the Dockyard was a 19th-century industrial complex set up to support Royal Navy operations in the region.
The building was erected in the 1840s and remained occupied until 2014.
A Grade 2 listing requires that “alterations and additions should be limited to works that do not impinge on those parts of the building to be protected and preserved”.
Albert Row is some of the last evidence of the large community that worked in the massive Royal Navy shore base on Ireland Island. The Government announced in 2010 that Albert Row and neighbouring Victoria Row would be torn down for a new housing development.
Victoria Row was demolished in 2016, but Albert Row remained standing but derelict.
The Naval Dockyards Society in Britain had appealed for objections to be lodged to save the terrace after a notice of the potential delisting was published in August.
Joanna Cranfield, Wedco's business development manager, said last year the terrace was “dangerous and unhealthy”.
She added it would cost at least $10 million to salvage the houses and that no viable developers had volunteered to take on the job.