Shropshire Star

Date revealed for start of works to make listed former hotel building safe

Work by a Shropshire council to make a 193-year-old former hotel building in Newport safe will begin next week.

The Royal Victoria Hotel in Newport

Telford & Wrekin Council stepped in to get the work done at the former Royal Victoria Hotel after the owner failed to meet a court deadline to take action.

Last week, the authority announced it was take on the work to make the hotel safe after a February 21 deadline handed to the owner, Roger Brock, by the Health and Safety Executive at Telford Magistrates Court, had expired.

The crumbling listed hotel has been branded an "eyesore" by residents and businesses in the area, after it has spent the last five years being propped up by scaffolding.

Mr Brock had been attempting to sell the building after initially applying to the council to turn it into apartments.

An exclusion zone has been set up around the building, closing one of the town's busiest roads, St Mary's Street.

Telford & Wrekin Council has now said works to secure the 19th century building are to begin on Monday, March 13.

A spokesperson said: “We have been working with urgency to get a qualified and competent team together who can take on the works neglected by the hotel owner.

“This work will start on Monday and we expect it to take around two weeks, as long as there are no unidentified issues which need further action.”

The spokesperson continued: “Our top priority is the safety of our residents, so the exclusion zone directly outside the hotel will remain in place until the work is complete. Our contractors will be working as quickly and safely as possible.”

He added that businesses in St Mary’s Street remain open and people are encouraged to continue to shop local to support them.

The Council has said that failure by the owner to comply with the Magistrates order means that the authority will look to recover the cost of repairs from the owner. It is also a criminal offence and the council said it would "pursue this matter".