Shrewsbury pub owner denies being to blame for damage at Ark homeless centre

A Shrewsbury businessman has flatly denied claims that restoration work being carried out on a landmark building he owns has damaged a neighbouring property.

Chris Jones and Kieran Patrick
Chris Jones and Kieran Patrick

Chris Jones, who is renovating the Albion Vaults pub in the town, branded the neighbouring Ark homeless centre as the most dangerous place in town.

But when Mr Jones voiced his concerns about the falling masonry and lose roof tiles on the council-owned Ark building, the authority responded by saying the damage had been caused by works taking place at Mr Jones’s pub.

Mr Jones says the problems with the structure of the Ark building had nothing whatsoever to do with his work, and were well known long before his men had moved onto the site.

“A surveyor came two years ago, and said the roof had a maximum six months of life. It’s dangerous,” said Mr Jones.

Councillor Nat Green, who represents the Quarry and Coton Hill ward, said he now hoped to organise a meeting between Mr Jones’ engineer and that of the council.

Denied

Mr Jones also denied that he was in breach of party wall regulations.

Steve Law, head of assets and estates at Shropshire Council, said the authority had served a notice on Mr Jones so that it could 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.”

But Mr Jones said the work being carried out on his site had been done to the highest order, and said that the problems with the Ark had nothing to do with his work.

“I’m trying to do something positive for Shrewsbury,” he said. “We have installed a steel frame to strengthen the roof of our building.”

Mr Jones said the mortar between the bricks on the Ark’s chimney had worn away.

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