A BLOCK of flats in the Bridgend area of Perth is to be razed to the ground - three months after tenants had to leave their homes in the building because of safety concerns.
The building in East Bridge Street is to be demolished on the orders of Perth and Kinross Council because of the risk posed by a damaged supporting wall and gable at the rear of the premises.
A spokesman for Perth and Kinross Council said today that council officials had met with residents of the affected block last Thursday to inform them that the authority’s consultant structural engineers had advised that “demolition of the building is the only option.”
He said: “The opinion of the engineers is that the initial damage caused to the wall, coupled with the poor state of an adjoining gable end, means that the building cannot safely be repaired. The council’s position from the outset was to save this building for the sake of the residents. Our consultant structural engineers undertook an exhaustive search for specialist contractors to assist in preparing and implementing a safe scheme to stabilise the building.
“The search, which included consultation with two other firms of structural engineers, ultimately proved unsuccessful.”
He continued: “The owners of the properties have been given the option of appointing their own structural engineer to examine the building but with the caveat that any delay will result in enhanced temporary measures being taken in the interim to safeguard the public. However, if residents accept the findings of our engineers we will move very quickly to appoint a contractor to carry out the demolition work, as public safety is our primary concern.
“We recognise that this is a very unfortunate situation for everyone who lives in the block, and we have every sympathy for the residents. We will support them in any way we can to find alternative accommodation.”
The spokesman stressed: “Responsibility for private property lies with the owner, and council intervention is only taken as a last resort. The council has acted quickly and properly in this case. We served notice on residents immediately after we became aware of the initial damage to the wall, to encourage them to take action to carry out repair work. When this did not happen we moved to evacuate the building, shut off public access to the area of immediate concern, and commissioned a detailed assessment of the building.
“The safety of the public has been our paramount concern throughout this issue.”
Local councillor Peter Barrett said “The news that the building is to be demolished comes as a terrible shock and I feel the utmost sympathy for the residents who are losing their homes and must be devastated. I had been hoping that structural engineers would be able to put together a scheme to stabilise and repair the building.”
A road closure will remain in place on East Bridge Street until the demolition work is carried out.