Cobridge chimney fall closes road
A CRUMBLING chimney caused widespread disruption for motorists after engineers were forced to close one of Stoke-on-Trent's busiest roads.
Part of Waterloo Road, in Cobridge, was cordoned off yesterday after the chimney had partially collapsed, leaving bricks scattered in the road.
A large crane was transported to the site to help with the clean-up, as council workmen began to demolish the fragile structure.
It is understood the original terraced feature is listed, as it is connected to a property once owned by Hanley-born writer Arnold Bennett.
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Roads were closed between Waterloo Road and Pitt Street East as the work commenced.
Noshaba Khan, from Waterloo Road is currently renovating the home next-door with her husband.
She said: "We were almost ready to start with the paint work when the next door's chimney collapsed.
"We were woken in the night by the falling bricks and my husband went out to see what the problem was. The chimney had just crumbled away.
"It is a concern to us because we are stuck in the middle of a row of three houses and anything that happens with their property will affect ours."
The couple have been working on the restoration for months and it is expected to cost a minimum of £25,000.
Mother-of-two Noshaba, aged 32, added: "It is very important that they make it structurally safe because it is a delicate operation. We are waiting to see whether it will effect our side because it is a listed chimney and it will have a big impact on the aesthetics of the house."
The area around the house has been cordoned off since the chimney collapsed on Monday.
Aishah Qayum, aged 22, of Chell, had been staying in Grove Street, Cobridge. She said: "The first I knew of the road closure was today when my friend couldn't get through to pick me up.
"It is a bit of a pain for residents like my boyfriend and I can't remember the last time it was closed."
David Gough, aged 40, had tried to drop his jeep off at a garage on Waterloo Road.
The gardener from York Street, Newcastle said: "It has caused mayhem on the roads and the traffic was piled right back." A spokesman for Stoke-on-Trent City Council said the work would take 'an undetermined length of time'.
The road re-opened at 6pm last night (Thurs).
Councillor Ruth Rosenau, cabinet member for regeneration, planning and transportation, said: “We were first called out at 1am on Monday and a catchment zone was put up to ensure the safety of residents.
“Subsequent visits revealed further movement on the stack and after consultation with the owner of the building, a decision was made to take it down to remove the danger.
“A crane was brought in to assist with the removal and the costs of the work will be passed on to the owner of the property.”