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Central Plaza Update

Published on 08 October 2019

Central Plaza Update

This webpage provides updates on the Central Plaza and the impact on the highway and pedestrian access.

If you have any highways enquiries, please contact Cumbria County Council’s Highways Hotline on 0300 303 2992 or email [email protected] 

Monday 11 November 2019:

Our contractors have now taken control of the Central Plaza site.

Prior to the demolition of the main building, the contractors will undertake enabling works that will ensure that adjacent and adjoining buildings are protected. Over the next few weeks they will also be creating a platform for the specialist long reach demolition vehicle to access the rear of the main building.

The design team has explored all options to safely demolish the building unfortunately due to the loading restrictions on Victoria Viaduct, the demolition vehicle will need to access the site from West Walls and demolition will be undertaken from the rear of the building towards the front. This will contain the debris field.

When safe to do so, we will attempt to salvage the ornate carvings from the side of the building. These will then be in the ownership of Carlisle City Council.

The work started on site today (Monday 11 November) and is likely to take between three and four months but will be completed as quickly and safely as possible. Contractors will continue to work over the Christmas period. 

The site continues to be secure and 24-hour security is in place with CCTV monitoring in place to prevent unauthorised access behind the debris field. 

We continue to support businesses and are proposing to put in place a hardship fund for businesses directly affected. We have also set-up a hotline which will enable those businesses affected to have direct access to the support team. The number is 01228 817444 or email [email protected]

Wednesday 6 November 2019:

Following the inspection of the Central Plaza by a specialist demolition expert, it has been confirmed that demolition work will start on Monday 11 November.

There are many significant structural issues that will worsen at an accelerated rate over the winter months. The engineer recommended that we should begin planning for complete demolition. The engineer’s full report has now been received and the final enabling works are underway. Protective hoarding has been installed and will continue to be installed this week in readiness for the start of the demolition works.

Penetrating ground radar has also been carried out of West Walls including three-point Cloud Surveys of West Walls and the Medieval Vaults.

The work is set to start on site next week (Monday 11 November). This likely to take between three and four months but will be completed as quickly and safely as possible. Contractors will continue to work over the Christmas period.

The total cost of the demolition works is £1.35 million, which includes the enabling works detailed above and professional fees. Local contractors and engineers will undertake the work.

We have a duty to ensure that the property does not cause an immediate danger to persons in and around the building.

The listed building has no owner (the building is currently in escheat but rests with the Crown Estate). We would normally pursue the owner to deal with any danger, but this is not possible in this instance.

In the interest of public safety, road closures continue to be in place. The closures and diversions have been put in place by Cumbria County Council’s highways team. If you have any highway enquiries and queries regarding the diversions, please contact Cumbria County Council Highway’s Hotline on 0300 303 2992 or email [email protected]

The site continues to be secure and 24-hour security is in place with CCTV monitoring in place to prevent unauthorised access behind the debris field.

We continue to support businesses and are proposing to put in place a hardship fund for businesses directly affected. We have also set-up a hotline which will enable those businesses affected to have direct access to the support team. The number is 01228 817444 or email [email protected]


Friday 18 October 2019:

Our priority is to ensure the Central Plaza building is safe and all possible steps are being taken to find the quickest way to do this. 

Following the inspection of the Central Plaza last week which found the building to be at risk, a specialist demolition engineer was brought in to advise the Council on the works needed to make it safe. Due to the state of the Central Plaza, Cumbria Constabulary’s drone was used to inspect the building. 

In summary the engineer concluded that although it was not at risk of imminent failure there are many structural issues that will only get worse and very quickly with the building as it is now. Remedial measures were considered but it was felt that it was not safe to implement these, and they would not benefit the structural integrity long-term. 

In conclusion therefore, the engineer recommended that we should begin planning for complete demolition. We expect to receive the engineer’s full report next week and have started work to prepare the site.   

We continue to support businesses and have set-up a hotline which will enable those businesses affected to have direct access to the support team. The number is 01228 817 444 or email [email protected] 

In addition we are exploring options as to how we can further assist businesses affected.  

 

Tuesday 15 October 2019:

Our priority is to ensure the Central Plaza building is safe and all possible steps are being taken to find the quickest way to do this.

A Cumbrian contractor has been appointed to undertake the enabling works. This includes installing hoardings to secure the perimeter and providing 24-hour security, sub-contracted to a local company.

A specialist demolition engineer has visited the site today (Tuesday 15 October) and alongside our consulting structural engineer and principal designer will draw together a demolition plan. He will advise on how to remove the immediate danger. 

A recent inspection of the building found the building to be at risk and action is needed to make the building safe. We have a duty to ensure that the property does not cause an immediate danger to persons in and around the building.

The listed building has no owner (the building is currently in escheat but rests with the Crown Estate). We would normally pursue the owner to deal with any danger, but this is not possible in this instance.

In the interest of public safety, road closures continue to be in place. The closures and diversions have been put in place by Cumbria County Council's highways team. If you have any highway enquiries and queries regarding the diversions, please contact Cumbria County Council Highway’s Hotline on 0300 303 2992 or email [email protected]

 

Thursday 10 October 2019:

Our priority is to ensure the Central Plaza building is safe and all possible steps are being taken to find the quickest way to do this. A specialist demolition engineer will advise on how to remove the immediate danger. We will then appoint a contractor to undertake the work. In the meantime enabling works are underway from today (Thursday 10 October) to secure the perimeter of the site. There will also be 24-hour security.
 
A recent inspection of the building by Building Control and the council’s consulting structural engineer and principal designer found the building to be at risk and action is needed to make the building safe.
 
The inspection found that the remaining roof structure is close to collapsing with the potential to disturb masonry. All the floors next to the front elevation have collapsed and the remaining timber floors are badly decayed. The vaulted ceiling to the basement has been severely damaged.
 
The listed building has no owner (the building is currently in escheat but rests with the Crown Estate). We would normally pursue the owner to deal with any danger, but this is not possible in this instance. 
 
We have a duty to ensure that the property does not cause an immediate danger to persons in and around the building.
 
In the interest of public safety, road closures are in place. The closures and diversions have been put in place by Cumbria County Council's highways team. If you have any highway enquiries and queries regarding the diversions, please contact Cumbria County Council Highway’s Hotline on 0300 303 2992 or email [email protected] 

Tuesday 8 October 2019:

Further further deterioration to the Central Plaza building a decision has been made to undertake further demolition of the unsafe structure.

A recent inspection of the building by Building Control and the council’s consulting structural engineer and principal designer found the building to be at risk and action is needed to make the building safe.

In the interest of public safety, Victoria Viaduct from its junction with James Street to its junction with Blackfriars Street is closed to both vehicles and pedestrians. Bush Brow is also closed and there is a partial closure of West Walls from its junction with Victoria Viaduct to Sallyport steps. This started at 3pm TODAY (Tuesday, 8 October 2019).

The closures have been put in place by Cumbria County Council’s highways team following advice received from the City Council’s Building Control team and the council’s consulting structural engineer and principal designer.

Motorists and pedestrians are advised to find an alternative route.

Until further assessment of the building and a plan of action are agreed, we are unable to say how long the closures will be in place, however due to the extent of the damage and the scale of work required, this is likely to be months rather than weeks. Our priority is to ensure the building is safe and all possible steps are being taken to find the quickest way to do this.As the building has no owner (the building is currently in escheat but rests with the Crown Estate). We would normally pursue the owner to deal with any danger, but this is not possible in this instance.

Under the Building Act 1984 s78 Dangerous Buildings - Emergency Measures, we have a duty to ensure that the property does not cause an immediate danger to persons in and around the building.

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