THE demolition programme for St Nicholas House, the former headquarters of Aberdeen City Council, is being hampered by the discovery of asbestos in some of the building’s windows, it was revealed today.
A spokeswoman for the city council said: “Work on the tower has slowed meantime, but is continuing elsewhere on the site. The Health and Safety Executive has been informed through the appropriate notification procedures as is required.”
She continued: “This discovery was entirely unexpected and could not have been reasonably foreseen. The project team, which has considerable combined experience, has never come across a detail such as has been discovered before.
“The matter is being dealt with competently and professionally by Aberdeen City Council and Safedem Limited, in consultation with the HSE and asbestos removal specialists. There is no risk to public health.”
The spokeswoman added: “The discovery and subsequent disposal work will delay completion of the tower demolition, but there will be no adverse effect on the proposed Marischal Square development and its planned start on site. “
Work began last October on the final stages of the demolition of the former headquarters building, one of Aberdeen’s most notorious eyesores. The 13-storey tower block, built in 1968, has lain empty since 2012 when the council moved to its new headquarters across the road in Broad Street to the refurbished Marischal College.
The site is to be transformed into a new civic square in the heart of the Granite City once the tower block has been finally razed to the ground. The redevelopment involves a series of linked buildings, up to ten storeys high, offering a mix of hotel, offices, restaurants and retail space.