WORK is set to start on demolishing Warrington’s historic cabinet works “within the month” due to “very real dangers to human life.”
The demolition could eventually include the iconic Garnett’s water tower which has been a feature of Warrington’s skyline for more than a century – but only after heritage and conservation issues are fully considered by the Council before any decision is taken.
As reported by warrington-worldwide yesterday, Warrington Borough Council has called a meeting tomorrow (Thursday) to discuss the future of the building with interested parties, including Warrington Civic Society – but structural surveys, which took place before Christmas, have revealed the council’s “worst fears”, with demolition of some, if not all of the building “urgent and unavoidable.”
A council spokesperson said :“The Cabinet Works and water tower building are owned by PTS Property Services and the whole site has been derelict for a number of years.
“Our building control team have been in regular contact with the owners throughout the past decade as issues around site security and other risks have arisen.
“We have long been concerned about the integrity of the buildings and surveys undertaken before Christmas 2015 confirmed our worst fears. Detailed structural and drone surveys identified many dangerous areas, making demolition of some if not all of the building urgent and unavoidable.
“We have taken emergency measures under the Building Act 1984 and PTS will be responsible for the costs. Work is likely to begin within a month, and we will be consulting with local businesses, residents and the Civic Society on the demolition programme and related issues. No part of the site is heritage listed.
“The water tower has been a feature of the Warrington skyline and the town centre for more than one hundred years, but we have to balance the risk of losing a historic building against the very real danger posed to human life if we fail to act.”
The spokesperson added: “Whilst there are some structural issues with the Water Tower caused by decay and vandalism, we will not be requesting the demolition under our emergency Building Control powers.
“Instead options will subsequently be considered through the Planning Process, subject to the owner of the Building submitting a valid planning application, thus ensuring that heritage and conservation issues are fully considered by the Council before any decision is taken on the future of the remaining part of
Yesterday’s article, which includes video footage of the building from the air can be seen here: