May 26 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, October 11, 2012
A purpose-built welcome centre is likely to be installed for people visiting the SS Robin steamship in the Royal Docks.
The SS Robin trust which runs the historic vessel, has applied to Newham Council to house a ticket office inside the Connaught Tunnel Headhouse.
It would act as the first point of call for those stepping on board the SS Robin, which has been subject to a £1.9million restoration since returning to the area.
The structure was originally built more 130 years ago to hold a pumping shaft.
It was taken down brick-by brick by Crossrail engineers and was donated to the SS Robin Trust.
In a statement submitted alongside the planning application, the trust said it will apply for it to be granted listed status.
“The future reuse of the Connaught Tunnel necessitated removing the Headhouse,” the statement read.
“It was constructed to house a pumping shaft which extracted water that seeped into the railway tunnel below the water channel linking the Albert and Victoria docks to prevent it from flooding.
“Given its historic significance it is of real importance that it is rebuilt on the edge of the Royal Docks so that his historic connection can be maintained.”
The proposals also include moving SS Robin from its current position at the western end of the Royal Victoria Dock to a mooring dock to a new location close to the new Crystal centre.
The new application comes in response to a strategic plan for the area by the Royal Docks Management Authority.
The trust added: “The next and final stage, for which Heritage Lottery Funding has been awarded, will transform SS Robin into an innovative floating visitor attraction, cultural heritage site and centre for innovative and enterprise in London.”
A target date for a decision has been set for mid-December.