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Work to dismantle landslip Whitby properties now scheduled to begin tomorrow

A picturesque view of WhitbyThe painstaking work to dismantle five properties severely affected by subsidence in Aelfleda Terrace in Whitby is now scheduled to begin tomorrow.


The buildings have been left at serious risk of collapse following a landslip earlier this week.


The council and its contractors had hoped to start demolition work later today, but further movement in the slope this morning has led to some amendments to the initial plan.


A spokesperson for Scarborough Borough Council said: “Initially, we wanted to do the work around the clock, but risk assessments indicated it would be unsafe to do so at night time with the ground so unstable – it’s absolutely imperative we have the ability to see any ground movement in the wider area. Even with the limited artificial light we could have put in, we feel it still would not have been sufficient to allow reliable monitoring of the slope –clearly the welfare of the contractors and the wider public during this delicate process is of the upmost importance.


“Instead, we will be operating 12-hour shifts, with demolition work provisionally scheduled to begin tomorrow. It means the work to bring down the properties will take a little bit longer than first anticipated and we ask for people’s continued patience and understanding.”


The borough council is taking the decisive action to bring down the properties following rigorous assessment by North Yorkshire Building Control and structural engineers, with specialist demolition contractors, RGS, due to begin work once all the site preparations have been completed.


It is not clear how long the work will take, but because of the instability of the site, which means heavy plant machinery cannot be used, it will be a methodical and careful process, which will see workers suspended from cherry picker equipment, dismantling the properties piece by piece.


While the work to dismantle the buildings is carried out, there will be 24-hour supervision on site by a structural engineer as well as a monitoring regime to detect how active the landslide still is, along with 24-hour security to ensure members of the public are prevented from accessing the site and kept safe.


The council has had number of calls from nearby residents who have asked if they are at risk, but all the evidence gathered so far suggests this landslide activity is localised to the properties already identified in Aelfleda Terrace.


The demolition work follows the successful installation of a temporary road to Aelfleda Terrace, across a field between the properties and Whitby Abbey. Permission for the temporary road was granted by English Heritage. The council and its principal contractor, Transcore, are aware of the sensitivities of the historic site and will be closely following English Heritage’s advice while the work is carried out.


Two site compounds have also been set up close to Aelfleda Terrace and will be in place for the duration of the work.


In preparation for the demolition, a platform is being constructed behind the terraced properties, which will allow RGS to work on the buildings without putting any additional loading on the unstable ground.


Yesterday, a large tree which was in danger of toppling over as a result of the landslide was brought down in a controlled manner, with nearby families evacuated to the Green Lane Centre while the work was carried out.


If nearby residents require further information, they can contact the council’s Housing Manager, Andrew Rowe on 01723 383598.

Scarborough Borough Council,Town Hall, St Nicholas Street, Scarborough, North Yorkshire. YO11 2HG
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