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Protest over Shed 26 as Grand Designs host joins campaign

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Presenter of popular UK television series Grand Designs, Kevin McCloud, has thrown his weight behind the campaign to stop Port Adelaide’s historic Shed 26 from demolition, as activists prepare to hold a protest tomorrow.

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Last week, Save Shed 26 campaigners released an open letter, signed by 40 prominent Australians – including the director of the Adelaide Festival, union bosses, the heads of state and national museums and political satirist Bryan Dawe – urging Steven Marshall to prevent the destruction of the historic sawtooth shed.

Designer and host of Channel 4 TV series Grand Designs Kevin McCloud added his name to the petition late on Friday, warning against the demolition of irreplaceable commercial and industrial buildings.

“The conservation of historic buildings is about our industrial and commercial past as much as it is about churches and twiddly columns,” said McCloud through a representative.

“We can’t let the quieter, more modest buildings be swept away when they’re so much a part of who we are and where we’ve come from – and their contribution to the uniqueness of place is almost beyond measure and something you can’t reproduce with the new-fangled.

“To clean up our past by removing its artefacts is to Bowdlerise it to a point where our story no longer makes sense and we become aimless.”

Grand Designs follows homeowners as they navigate the process of building unusual and architecturally-ambitious houses.

Developer Cedar Woods has erected fencing around the dockyards boatshed and says the removal of the building is underway in preparation for the Fletchers Slip development.

It argues that no “viable new ideas” have been put forward that would allow for the adaptive reuse of the shed, and it had to be demolished to make way for “a project that will make a major contribution to the future revitalisation of Port Adelaide”.

The development will include the creation of 500 architecturally-designed homes, waterfront promenade parks, refurbishment of the original Fletcher’s Slip slipway and the refurbishment of existing State Heritage-listed buildings.

“Cedar Woods remains committed to working with our heritage experts and relevant authorities to deliver a great outcome on the existing State Heritage-listed elements of the Fletcher’s Slip project,” a spokesperson told InDaily last week.

Save Shed 26 campaigners plan to hold a protest at the site at 8am Tuesday morning.

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