Council blames Shrewsbury landlord for 'dangerous' roof

A row over a building described as ‘the most dangerous place in Shrewsbury’ has taken a fresh turn after the man who raised the issue with the council has been accused of causing the problem.

The Albion Vaults in Castle Foregate. Photo: Google Street View.
The Albion Vaults in Castle Foregate. Photo: Google Street View.

Chris Jones, landlord of The Albion Vaults in Castle Foregate, said the crumbling roof and chimney of the council-owned Shrewsbury Ark homeless centre was putting the public in danger.

But Shropshire Council has responded by saying that it was building works which Mr Jones was carrying out at his pub which has caused the damage to the Ark building next door.

Mr Jones has strongly denied the claims.

Steve Law, head of assets and estates at Shropshire Council, said the council had now served a notice on Mr Jones so that it can carry out the necessary repairs to the Ark.

He said: “Having carried out further investigations it has become clear that substantial building works being carried out at the Albion Vaults are significantly affecting the council’s adjoining property, The Ark.

“These works have destabilised the structure of the party wall that adjoins the two properties, including the chimney, and this is creating a health and safety risk to the occupants of the property and the public.”

Mr Law said Mr Jones had failed to comply with the provisions of the Party Walls Act 1996 and was in breach of statutory requirements. As a consequence he was liable for any damage to the Ark caused by his work, Mr Law added.

“We have tried to resolve this issue, without recourse to legal action, in the interests of both parties, but Mr Jones has refused to co-operate or allow us access to repair the chimney,” he said.

Poor

“As a result, Shropshire Council has instructed a party wall surveyor to act on its behalf in this matter and the requisite notice has now been served to enable the council to carry out the works to the chimney as soon as possible.”

But David Andrews, a chartered building surveyor employed by Mr Jones, denied the work carried out at the pub had anything to do with the Ark problems.

“The condition of the chimney stack and the dangerous condition of the roof over the back of the Ark has nothing to do with the works on going at the Albion Vaults,” he said.

Mr Jones said he had not breached any regulations regarding party walls.

He said masonry had been falling from the chimney of the building and said several asbestos tiles from the roof had come loose.

Mr Jones said that on one occasion he had even had to call police for the safety of homeless people who had been congregating beneath the chimney.

“The entrance to the Ark is the most dangerous place in Shrewsbury, because there’s a massive chimney over it, with bricks missing,” he said.

“You can see right through it, it is that bad. The roof is in poor condition, some of the tiles are missing, they have fallen off. A surveyor came two years ago, and said it had a maximum six months of life. It’s dangerous.”

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