Thursday, 28 November 2013

Castle Street Chapel collapse

Most residents of Launceston are probably aware that the Castle Street Chapel collapsed overnight.

The building - which is listed - has been unused and boarded up for a number of years now. I was told by a number of local residents that they heard banging and other noises over the past 24 hours - presumably the start of the building falling in on itself.

Clearly it is a huge relief that the collapse happened at 12.20am rather than during the day and so there were no injuries. A couple of cars were damaged however.

For the moment, Castle Street is closed off. Cormac are installing proper barriers around the area to keep people away and I would urge everyone to respect these. For the moment at least, the building is very unsafe and no one should go too close to it.

At the same time, a couple of local streets which are currently one way are being opened up to two-way traffic to enable access, but these are narrow and drivers should take care and drive slowly.

As for the building, Cornwall Council surveyors have visited and will be coming back. They are currently working with the agent for the chapel's owners to establish who will take responsibility for making the building safe. However it is clear to me, as a layman, that some sort of action to make the building safe is pretty urgently needed.

Huge thanks and praise, as ever, to Launceston Fire and Rescue Service who were on the site straight away to make sure that no one was in the building when the collapsed happened.

Once the building has been made safe, my priority is to get everyone together to get things back to normal as quickly as possible. There are lots of homes in the vicinity as well as a few businesses.

I'll post updates as I have them

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