The SU chooses to back Durham Uni’s fight for immunity from Dunelm Houses’s listed status
The SU is in favour of demolishing Dunelm House
There has been much debate as to whether Dunelm House should be demolished or not, and on the 24th of October the Students’ Union announced that it would support the University’s plan to fight for immunity against the building’s listing, according to Palatinate.
Dunelm House was built and designed in 1966. For some it is an architectural emblem in the North East, as it is an iconic example of the 1960s Brutalism. It’s historical value, and both the potential environmental and financial costs involved in knocking it down were enough to persuade some that it would be better to renovate the building rather than tear it down completely. It should be noted that the University has opposed this argument based on historical value.
The argument was voiced that planning is already underway for the construction of a new home for the SU on Mountjoy, as part of the university’s long-term expansion plan. The SU could therefore relocate to a more practical building without tearing down the existing one.
The argument in favour of immunity pointed out the severe structural issues with the building. These issues would cost more to fix than it would be to build a new space (around £14.7 million).
This on top of other issues such as insufficient space to hold student events and meetings as well as a leaky roof meant that the SU, as lead by president Megan Croll, is choosing to back the University in ensuring the building isn’t listed.
If the University is successful in this fight for immunity, the destruction of Dunelm House can begin immanently.