Owner Keen to Save Blaze-Hit Warehouse

The Journal (Newcastle, England), April 8, 2006 | Go to article overview

Owner Keen to Save Blaze-Hit Warehouse


Byline: By Chloe Griffiths

A meeting to help decide the future of a fire-devastated Victorian building earmarked for a pounds 30m redevelopment will be held on Monday.

Sub-contractors and building specialists have spent the past week examining the remains of the former bonded sherry warehouse on Newcastle Quayside, gutted by a fire which raged for more than eight hours on March 24, to see how much can be salvaged.

Owners of the Grade II listed building, which dates from the 1840s, want to preserve as much of the burned-out shell as possible, but the fragile structure is in danger of collapse.

The subcontractors will present their findings to the owner, London company Zirca, and the Tyneside prospective developer Adamson Developments, as well as Newcastle City Council planning officials on Monday.

It was initially feared the entire seven-storey building would have to be demolished after fire service experts said a gust of wind could topple it.

Demolition firm Thomson's of Prudhoe was brought in to set up an exclusion zone around the site and has remained on standby amid fears it could collapse.

Its precarious position led council officials to announce on March 30 that selective demolition would go ahead to remove the most vulnerable top three or four levels of the front facade.

Yesterday, project manager for redevelopment David Garner, of Gardener and Theobald Management Services, said: "Obviously the building is very dangerous still. …

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