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Hackney houses face demolition as cracks appear

An investigation into the causes of dangerous cracks in an East London Victorian terrace is to consider whether a construction site next door could be to blame.

Hackney Council said it had evacuated 1-5 Amhurst Road on Saturday after discovering that it was unstable and posed a risk to the public.

It originally said the terrace would be demolished, although this process had not begun as NCE went to press.

It is understood that other options were being considered but NCE understands demolition remained the most likely outcome.

NCE also understands that a council investigation will seek to establish whether the construction of a mixed-use development immediately next to 5 Amhurst Road could have contributed to the structural damage.

Developer Amhurst Road Properties is creating a hotel plus retail and leisure units on the site next to the damaged building. It is understood that advance works have taken place.

West Bromwich-based Anglo Holt Construction is the main contractor. Manchester-based developer LPC Living is acting
as adviser to Amhurst Road
Properties.

NCE contacted the contractor who was unable to comment at the time of going to press.

Travelodge is the first named tenant of the development.

The hotel chain declined to comment.

A spokesman for Amhurst Road Properties said: “Our development of the site at Amhurst Road, Hackney is at a very early stage.

“We are working with our contractors and the relevant authorities to investigate the likely cause of the structural issues to the properties on Amhurst Road. Until that investigation is concluded we are unable to comment further.”

A member of the public discovered the cracks and reported them to the London Fire Brigade, which informed Hackney Council.

It is understood that the damage consists of serious cracks in the foundations, internal walls and façade of the terrace.

This east London block is
the surviving part of the Gibbons Building, a former
Victorian department store that was partially destroyed by fire in 2003. 

It includes seven homes and two restaurants. Eight residents were evacuated.

Scaffolding was erected to control the direction of a collapse in the event of structural failure.

A section of Amhurst Road was closed and access to Hackney Central Overground station was restricted.

A council spokesman said on Saturday: “Hackney Council has arranged for the urgent controlled demolition of 1-5 Amhurst Road following reports that the building has become structurally unsound and posed an immediate risk to public safety.

“Residents of the terrace have been evacuated and Amhurst Road remains partially closed while works to safely demolish the building continue.

“An investigation into the cause is underway.”

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