First Person: Conversion is the answer
NOBODY can deny that there is a massive shortage in the housing supply in North East Lincolnshire, and that the proposed development at the hospital site would, if approved by the council's Planning Committee, go some way to helping meet current targets.
However, one of the buildings, which stands a more than even chance of being demolished should this plan be carried through to completion, is the old Grimsby Workhouse.
Whilst it is true this is a building with a long and shameful history, hailing as it does from an era where the poor and disadvantaged were treated as work shy and feckless, fit only to be worked to death and abused, is also a building of great historical interest, and there have been far too many historical buildings demolished in the area over the last several decades.
Another reason for not demolishing the workhouse is the fact that there will be added disruption to hospital users as, not only would a construction site be erected for the new housing project, but there would also have to be demolition works beforehand to get rid of the workhouse and any other buildings which were to be torn down.
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I am not against housing projects, and I welcome the fact that a developer wishes to use this spare land for such a project, but I am not convinced that destroying the workhouse is a good idea – which is why I present an alternative one.
It is my view that instead of being demolished, the workhouse should instead be converted and re-purposed into social housing.
There is a distinct shortage of social housing in the borough to go along with the shortage in regular housing, and thus converting the workhouse would fulfil the dual purpose of helping to alleviate that shortage as well as making an utter mockery of the building's former, and incredibly abhorrent, use.