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Work to dismantle landslip Whitby properties now scheduled to begin tomorrow
The 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
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
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
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.