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Fears grow for Cummins Diesel industrial buildings

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Two industrial buildings for the firm Cummins Diesel have come under the spotlight, with plans to refurbish one and fears for survival of the other.

The refurbishment of a semi-derelict Grade II*-listed office block in Darlington is being drawn up by Browne Smith Baker & Partners. Originally designed in 1965 by Kevin Roche, the plans are to change it into a leisure and business scheme.

Les Hodgson from Newcastle-based bsb said: 'We have spent a lot of time speaking to planners and English Heritage. There are planning applications lodged for principle development rather than specific. It is too early to say how things will develop.'

The Twentieth Century Society is lobbying the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to list the other Cummins building - a factory in Shotts, Scotland by abk which was closed in 1996. Its architect, Peter Ahrends, alerted the society, expressing alarm at its worsening state, potential ugly alterations or demolition.

'We will lobby the department for it to be listed,' said Ken Powell of the society. 'The building is almost totally unused and at potential risk. It would be tragic if such good industrial design were lost.'

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