Longton building collapse fears lead to closure of road
A TOWN centre road last night remained cordoned off after fears an empty building could collapse.
Police, fire crews and council workers have been monitoring the disused property, in Uttoxeter Road, Longton, since the weekend.
The alarm was raised by passers-by who reported parts of the building were crumbling.
The road surrounding the three-storey property – which is thought to date back to around the late 1800s and was last used as a furniture store – remained closed as a precaution yesterday and traffic was diverted down Bridgewood Street.
Fixed fee sales package for any residential property, just £325 +vat. Includes listing on all major portals e.g. Rightmove & Zoopla, floorplans, photos, for sale board, etc. Call for more details.
Terms: All prices subject to VAT. Terms and Conditions apply. E&OE.
Contact: 01782 900100
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Now investigations are underway to asses the stability of the building, which is opposite Stevens Solicitors.
It is understood the building has been empty for more than five years and is currently up for sale.
It is the second structure to be deemed unsafe in Longton town centre this month. A property next to Specsavers, in Market Street, which is about 150 yards away from the property in Uttoxeter Road, remains cordoned off after the inside of the building collapsed and caused a crack to the exterior on July 4.
Now traders fear the two incidents could be connected.
Aram Sabir, of Hanley, who works in the Mini Market, in Market Street, said: "The building at the bottom of the street has been cordoned off for about three weeks and now this one has been shut off for about three days or so. I don't know what is happening.
"This is the second time this has happened in a short space of time and it makes you wonder whether there is something wrong with the ground and not the buildings. It is quite unusual that it has happened to two buildings which are quite close together."
Graham Jones, who works at RW Fencing, in Bridgewood Street, saw parts of the building falling off at about 5pm on Friday.
The 48-year-old, of Bentilee, said: "The police and the council were called and they closed the road off and it has been like that ever since.
"People can still walk down Uttoxeter Road but it is closed off to cars.
"I am just worried that it is dangerous.
"We have been able to carry on working but our job has been made more difficult because all the cars are being diverted this way.
"I know the owner of the building and he lives quite a way away."
It has not been established whether the two incidents are connected.
A Stoke-on-Trent City Council spokesman said: "A member of the public raised concerns about the building late on Friday afternoon.
"Our experts went to the scene, and found that the front elevation had moved away from the gable end.
"A catchment zone is now in place in case the front does fall away, and Uttoxeter Road is blocked off there as a precaution.
"It's a detached, commercial building which is three storeys high.
"We're in touch with the owners and have met them on site. They're considering a range of remedial options, before deciding on the most appropriate way forward."