I have received the information below from the Council’s Asset Management team:
You may be aware that there has been some recent activity at the former Eastmoor Secure Unit site in terms of increased security, This has been put in place due to serious structural issues identified to part of the main building (hatched red on the attached plan).
Over the past few weeks a number of visits have taken place to the site with relevant council officers from Conservation, Building Control and Corporate Property Maintenance, as well a consultant structural engineer to assess the building and in particular this area of concern. The structural engineer’s assessment is that the part of the building in question, which has already been subject to some uncontrolled collapse, as you can see from the attached photographic evidence, is in imminent danger of collapse and that if this occurs in an uncontrolled way it is likely to cause further elements of the structure to be either damaged or brought down. Options around making safe the structure have been explored, including use of specially designed scaffolding but such has been deemed the dangerous nature of the building that it has been advised there should be no internal access allowed, which would be required to deliver a scaffold solution.
The other significant consideration is the regular breaches of security and unauthorised entry being made into the building. We obviously do not wish to be faced with a situation where the building collapses whilst there are individuals inside. To address this issue as an immediate risk 24 hour security has been established at the site to remain in place until such a time as the structural issues are satisfactorily resolved. In addition to this an 8ft perimeter fence is to be erected within the next few weeks around the entirety of the main building to enhance security and contain any uncontrolled collapse.
To address the two issues outlined above (likely imminent uncontrolled collapse and safety) a Listed Building planning application is being prepared seeking consent to demolish the element of the building at risk of structural failure. The area upon which consent to demolish is being sought is approximately 5% of the main building. The proposed demolition method would see detailed photographic evidence taken prior to works starting to record the structure, then dismantling by hand of the stonework and roof elements from above (using something like a platform lift). The material taken down would then be securely stored for future use on site should it be required.
If you have any comments on the above I would welcome hearing from you, and you will also be contacted as part of the formal planning application consultation process.”