Allam family want to transform disused historic Hull factory into apartments
Part of the former Rosedowns factory in Caroline Street
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 16 Aug 2017
Hull City owners Assem and Ehab Allam have submitted new plans to convert a disused foundry in Caroline Street for residential use.
They want to turn the Grade II listed Hennebique building into 26 apartments and retain two adjacent derelict factories for residential use.
Their company, Allam Developments, has also applied for outline planning permission to build up to 70 new homes on nearby land.
Assem and Ehab Allam
A similar proposal at the same site was rejected by planning councillors five years ago.
But the new application says the current scheme would address previous concerns about potential noise from nearby industrial premises.
However, the major development scheme has this time triggered fears it could squeeze out one of Hull's oldest engineering firms.
It says it aims to "create a high quality and sustainable urban extension to Hull."
The concrete-framed Hennebique building dates from 1900 and is the only surviving structure of its kind in England.
The ornate former main entrance will be retained and incorporated into the new development
Another disused building which could be saved is a factory workshop dating from 1874.
Turning the Hennebique building into apartments has has won support from Hull Civic Society.
Society chairman John Scotney said: "As this building represents the earliest use of the Hennebique method of ferro-concrete construction in Britain, it is architecturally important in the history of Britain's architecture.
"Having been disused for several years, converting it to a new use is a matter of urgency.
"We also believe that this scheme would be beneficial for the regeneration of the surrounding area."
However, the application has triggered a number of objections from people worried about the future of heavy engineering De Smet Rosedowns.
The company previously operated the whole site but today occupies part of it, employing 85 people.
One objector, who is not named in the planning documents currently lodged online with Hull City Council, said Rosedown's Belgian-based owners could be forced to re-think its commitment to Hull should the site become residential.
"This could push the owners of the company to move its manufacturing abroad to cut costs which would in turn have a knock on effect to the local economy as well as the loss of jobs."
As yet, Rosedowns has not submitted any comment on the application which is expected to go before the council's planning committee later this year.