Robust measures will be used against the owners of the Battle Road arches in a bid to recover the £300,000 that Hastings Borough Council (HBC) has earmarked to spend on their demolition.
Work began in May to demolish what had been classified as a dangerous structure. On Friday HBC told Hastings In Focus: “The demolition works of the Battle Road arches (numbers two – 12 Battle Road) have been ongoing for some time and we apologise for any inconvenience.
“In order to safely remove the structure a number of health and safety issues needed to be confirmed and resolved. Work has now begun to remove all utilities and false walls, floors and suspended ceilings and asbestos surveys have been carried out. The removal of the structure will begin shortly.
“The council is working closely with East Sussex Highways. Control of the site will be handed back to them as soon as possible so the safety wall can be removed and the road can return to the normal two-way operation.
According to the land registry the owners of the property are Elsie Goldsmith, Vaughan Wheatley and Simon Leeves all with addresses in St Leonards. HBC says it plans to take robust measures to recover the monies it has had to spend.
“The contract sum is for the demolition of the commercial units and an approved budget was set earlier in the year to enable the structure to be removed. HBC’s legal team will be taking robust measures against the owners for the repayment of the cost of the demolition works,” a spokesman said.
In June last year when the council’s cabinet agreed to proceed with the works £300,000 was earmarked from the council’s general reserve.
E.A.R. Sheppard Consulting Civil and Structural Engineers were appointed to assess the structural stability of the property. The engineers identified that the structure was not in danger of imminent collapse but collapse could not be ruled out and therefore the building remained a risk.