A group of Rotherhithe residents is campaigning to save the old red crane on Odessa Street, after it was confirmed it will be demolished to make way for a housing development.
The proposed development by Hollybrook Homes would see the crane scrapped and recycled as a sculpture by Surrey Docks Farm’s artist Kevin Boys, to sit by the Thames.
The group are opposing the plans, claiming that it would be a “loss of history” for the area, as it dates back to the early 1900s.
Andy Gibson, one of the residents, said that the development would mean the loss of community space too, including a playground, which he said is still used despite its rundown appearance.
The residents have started a petition calling for the crane to be preserved, so far attracting more than 360 signatures.
Hollybrook Homes said that they explored ways to include the crane in the development over the past eighteen months, but due to it falling into disrepair in recent years it wasn’t deemed viable.
Justin Elcombe, managing director of Hollybrook Homes, said: “Unfortunately over many years the condition of the crane has deteriorated to the point that it is beyond repair and has become a health and safety hazard.
“We are therefore proposing that the crane be dismantled and some of the material recycled to create a new public sculpture on the riverfront, to celebrate the maritime and former dockland history of Rotherhithe.
“We are working with local artist Kevin Boys, based at Surrey Docks Farm, whose recent work include the popular sculpture of local World War I hero Albert McKenzie on Tower Bridge Road.
“With regard to the loss of the disused youth club and the concrete ball area, we understand that the council have provided much improved replacement facilities locally at nearby Docklands Settlements.”
To sign the petition, visit www.change.org/p/london-borough-of-southwark-save-the-red-crane-odessa-wharf-in-surrey-quays