Busy Stoke-on-Trent road closes for dangerous building demolition

A Stoke-on-Trent road will be closed until Monday, while the city council partially demolishes a derelict building over safety concerns.

Work is starting to knock down part of the Grade II* listed Price and Kensington Teapot Works building in Longport, after surveys revealed parts of the structure are at risk of collapse.

In July 2018 the city council served a notice on the owner of the building, requiring steps to be taken to improve the condition of the property.

But the owner was prosecuted earlier this month for failing to comply with the requirements set out in the notice and fined £1,000.

Now the authority has served a notice to the owner under Section 78 of the 1984 Building Act, which gives them the power to take immediate action where it feels there is a danger to the public.

It is responsible for the road which runs adjacent to the building and is acting to protect the highway should the building or part of it collapse.

In order for a controlled, partial demolition to bring an unsafe element of the building on the street front down to a safe height, Newcastle Street will be closed from 6am this morning (1 November), until 6am on Monday morning (4 November).

The road will be shut to traffic from the canal bridge to the Trubshaw Cross roundabout, where Wayne Walker is located, from 6am on Friday to 6am on Monday.

Taxpayers will initially foot the bill, but the cost will be recouped from the owner of the building.

Cllr Daniel Jellyman, cabinet member for regeneration, infrastructure, and heritage, said: “The city council is committed to protecting our city’s heritage and it is with deep regret that this privately-owned building has fallen into such poor condition. We’ve been actively pursuing the owner for some time to complete works on the site to improve the fabric of the building, which culminated in a court prosecution last week.

“Some remedial work to the building was carried out by the owner in the summer but this has not resolved the issues and we have now run out of time. Recent site inspections carried out by the council have shown that a part of the building is in an unsafe and dangerous condition, leaving the city council with no option but to take steps to ensure that the public are not exposed to harm. The work will involve targeted demolition of the unsafe building on the street front to bring it down to a safe height.

“We appreciate this will cause some disruption, but the works are absolutely necessary and will be carried out as quickly and safely as possible given the obvious need to handle the demolition sensitively and appropriately.  We are left with no choice but to act to protect public safety.

“I’ve personally had meetings with Historic England to try and find a developer to regenerate the site but unfortunately no-one has come forward over the last four years. We will be seeking to recover all reasonable costs associated with the demolition work from the site owner.”

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