Councillors are set to ask the Secretary of State to approve demolition of a building which officers say should be removed as a matter of urgency due to it being ‘very unstable.’
The future of the former restaurant at 31/32 Church Street in the town will be discussed by Wellingborough Council’s planning committee tonight (Wednesday).
It is on the agenda just days after a temporary street closure was brought in to investigate the stability of part of the building.
A statement on the council’s website on Friday said: “The Borough Council of Wellingborough has today closed off a length of footpath along the frontage of 31/32 Church Street as a precaution while investigative works proceed into the stability of an area of brickwork on the street elevation.
“The building has had a scaffold support system installed and this has not moved or failed.
“The council’s retained consultants are currently working with building control officers and investigating what works may be required to ensure the continued stability of the structure prior to demolition.”
The building had been in need of repairs for several years and became unsafe when the bulk of the front wall was taken out to put in display windows.
The council stepped in to secure the building after it was recorded as a dangerous structure, but was unable to do anything further as the building was privately owned.
But the authority was able to buy the property last summer, recovered the money spent on securing it, and then agreed to demolish it and re-use the site.
Planning permission is required to demolish the building as it is in a town centre conservation area.
However, the Secretary of State must determine planning applications made by a local planning authority which relate to the demolition of an unlisted building in a conservation area.
A report due to be considered by councillors tonight states: “The justification for the demolition of the building within the conservation area is due to safety as the building is considered to be very unstable.
“The application details as submitted state that the property became unstable a number of years ago, at which point the council undertook remedial works to stabilise the structure.
“The building has been in this state for in excess of five years and is considered to be an eyesore.
“Building control officers have confirmed that the building should be removed for safety reasons as a matter of urgency.”
Any planned demolition in a conservation area needs to be accompanied by a proposal for a replacement scheme.
While re-development plans for the site have yet to be agreed, planning officers have advised councillors that the authority should recommend to the Secretary of State that demolition of the building is an acceptable proposal in principal.
Tonight’s meeting starts at 7pm in the council chamber at Swanspool House in Wellingborough.