I mostly try to avoid this one now as it has been taken over by plenty of people who seem to want to get it resolved. Frankly I don’t think much is going to happen about it until the end of this winter when the development agreement runs out.
What does worry me though is that the abandoned site isn’t being looked after, the picture taken last Thursday shows the tip of the iceberg, no proper site security.
Not really sure how dangerous going onto the abandoned building site is, but it isn’t somewhere you want your children going or to have to get your dog out of.
The main issue here for me is the cliff façade and I think this is particularly important with the winter coming on, there are two aspects of this and I will treat them separately for clarity.
Firstly dealing with the latest inspection report, that relates to the inspection of the cliff façade around the end of 2011 the report draft dated 02/03/2012 the final report dated 31/07/2012; this says:
“For the arched and portal sections, vegetation shall be removed and the various fine cracks in the facade should be prepared with an angle grinder and filled with a suitable flexible crack repair filler such as Watco flexible crack sealant and over painted after 24 hours. Weep holes shall be cleared of vegetation.
The infill panels of portals 13 and 18 of the portal section shall be removed, the chalk face inspected and the block work replaced with 30N/mm2 200mm thick block work and painted.
For the concrete barrier, defects in the top original coping should be repaired by scabbling to sound concrete and applying a suitable epoxy levelling mortar such as Sikagard-720 EpoCem or high build cementitious repair mortar such as Sika MonoTop-615 depending upon the depth of the defect.
For the masonry wall, the render should be hacked off, the brickwork re-pointed and a new render applied retained and reinforced with expanded metal laths fixed to the masonry. Joints in the render shall be provided.
A suitable inspection and maintenance regime should be instigated. This can take the form of regular visual checks of the high level promenade looking for tension cracks in the new surfacing or settlement especially after prolonged periods of rainfall. A detailed structural survey of the wall façade and concrete barrier should be carried out every 3 years.”
I don’t really know when the council intends to do this work nor do I know what the effects of leaving it for a few years is likely to be, whether there is a “stitch in time” element here that is going to cost the council in the future. I do know like everyone else who looks at the thing, that it looks bad and it also looks a lot worse than it did in the winter of 2011 – 2012 when it was last inspected by professional engineers.
Secondly is the façade foundations issue, what has happened here is that the developer’s contractor has temporarily lowered the ground at the bottom of the cliff façade. In some parts of the façade this doesn’t matter as the foundations are much lower, but in some parts the ground below the façade foundations has been exposed.
Exposing this for a short time while the development’s groundworks were done is one thing, leaving it exposed for several years while the legal problems relating to the development agreement not being adhered by the developer, is altogether something else.
In short what is happening here is that public bill is accumulating, the thing has already suffered from neglect resulting in the council having to spend about a million on it and now it is evidently being neglected again.