Extensive use has been made of scaffolding to support the fire ravaged Pine Store in Ottery St Mary

Two potentially dangerous structures in Axminster and Ottery St Mary have required swift action from East Devon’s Building Control team to carry out remedial works to ensure stability and safety

The Building Control team at East Devon District Council has been kept busy over the past week assisting the emergency services following two incidents that affected the structural stability and safety of buildings in Axminster and Ottery St Mary.

On Monday night (10 September 2018) a fairground ride crashed into the back of a Grade II listed building on Silver Street in Axminster, having rolled from the adjacent fairground site. Officers provided initial advice to the emergency services about the safety of the building, enabling the HGV to be winched out and then liaised with the owner and their insurance company to ensure the building was left safe and secure. Silver Street was closed for a period of time while remedial works were undertaken, but was reopened the following day.

Later in the week, on Thursday 13 September, in Ottery St Mary, the Pine Store on the corner of Broad Street and Brook Street caught fire. Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service did a great job putting the fire out, with the council’s Building Control Team advising them on the safety of the structure, which has been badly damaged with the roof and internal timbers all but destroyed.

Concerns regarding the stability of the remaining structure, which is largely timber framed with only the gable end wall being made of brick, led to emergency scaffolding works being put in place over the weekend and into this week. Due to the fragile nature of the structure, the scale of the scaffolding had to be increased to lend greater support and to provide space for work to be carried out on the roof, and it now extends into the road.

As a result the road outside the premises has remained closed and is likely to remain closed until the roof can be replaced. Once this work has been completed it should be possible to scale back the scaffolding and reopen the road. 

The council’s Building Control team has played a major role in these incidents, advising the emergency services, as well as ensuring that the site is safe and secure once the emergency services had departed. Without East Devon’s Building Control, the roads and footpaths around sites like these would not be safe places for people to be.

Commenting on the involvement of East Devon’s Building Control team, the council’s Portfolio Holder for the Economy, Cllr Phil Skinner, said:

Our Building Control team do a great job throughout the year, ensuring that new homes, business premises, extensions and other works are constructed in accordance with Building Regulations, ensuring that they are safe and built to the high standards required. What people don’t always realise is the fantastic work they do to support and advise the emergency services with incidents like this and in dealing with the aftermath. The works at Silver Street in Ottery St Mary are necessary to make the building safe and so we ask for people’s patience while these works are carried out and hope that the road can be re-opened shortly.