Leading architectural practice, Howarth Litchfield, has successfully obtained planning permission for the redevelopment of the Ferry Road marine fire station which stands in the shadow of Middlesbrough’s iconic Transporter Bridge.

The two storey building, which is around 20 years old, has stood empty since it was closed by Cleveland Fire Authority in March 2016. Now in the ownership of PD Ports, it will be converted, refurbished and extended at a cost of around £800k to create a new harbour master’s office with an additional ground floor office suite.

Howarth Litchfield was appointed by Turner & Townsend, the construction consultants and project managers for the scheme, after its design team submitted the winning idea for the redevelopment of the building. The chosen design features panoramic views of the river to create a working environment that not only lends itself to 24-hour usage but at the same time, provides light, airy and comfortable operational space.

With additional responsibility for building surveying, undertaking a measured survey, architecture and interiors, Howarth Litchfield’s challenge is to work within a tight budget to transform an existing building into one that looks and feels like newly built accommodation.

Designs for the harbour master’s office, which are fully BIM (Building Information Modelling) compliant, were submitted for planning approval at the end of May.

Neil Turner, director of Howarth Litchfield, sees the project as further demonstration of the firm’s increasing presence in the industrial and commercial sectors which continue to provide a steady stream of new work.  He said:

“At Howarth Litchfield, we care for the physical context, the culture and the settings of our designs, so we were delighted to be appointed to this project, because the building sits in the lea of one of the region’s most memorable landmarks, the Transporter Bridge.

“I believe we submitted some innovative ideas for re-imagining the old marine fire station and injecting some new life into it, but at the same time, as a multi-disciplinary practice, we are also able to bring a wide range of skills backed by solid expertise.  This has resulted in our appointment across a number of disciplines.”

Commenting on progress to date, Stephen Leyland, senior project manager at Turner & Townsend, said: “This is an important project for our client, PD Ports, as one of the UK’s major port groups .  We are pleased with the way the project has progressed thus far and if all goes according to plan, we will be starting works with contractor Esh Construction, in September with the project expected to complete in January 2018.”

Mark Pearson, project director, PD Ports, added: “The redevelopment of this building reflects our long-term commitment to investment in our business and as Statutory Harbour Authority for the ports of Tees and Hartlepool (Teesport).   In order to ensure safe navigation of the 14 miles of river that fall under our jurisdiction, this new harbour master’s facility has an essential role to play and we are looking forward to seeing construction work commence.”