The heritage sector has criticised new Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries’ decision to overturn Dorman Long Tower’s Grade II-listed status on her first evening in office, causing the building to be demolished on Sunday (September 19).
The 1950s Brutalist building had been added to the National Heritage List for England earlier in the week following the recommendation of Historic England, who valued the building as “nationally unique”.
But Dorries accepted an appeal from South Tees Development Corporation and Ben Houchen, the Conservative Mayor of Tees Valley, who argued the tower would costs the taxpayer more than £9m if left standing.
Architect George Clarke called the decision “heartbreaking”. Director of The Twentieth Century Society Catherine Croft said “a minister overturning a Historic England decision to list is always concerning”.
Dorries’ decision was based on the view the “building is not of the required special architectural or historic interest to remain listed," according to a DCMS spokesperson.