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Hackney Central homes under demolition after sudden structural threat

PUBLISHED: 22:34 23 November 2013 | UPDATED: 18:34 24 November 2013

Josh Spero, @joshspero posted a photo on Twitter: Drama on Amhurst Road next to vacant lot: crack appears in building, fire engine reaches up to investigate

Josh Spero, @joshspero posted a photo on Twitter: Drama on Amhurst Road next to vacant lot: crack appears in building, fire engine reaches up to investigate

Archant

Eight residents have been evacuated from their Victorian terrace homes in Hackney Central to allow for demolition after the building suddenly became unsafe.

The site of the Travelodge excavations, with 1-5 Amhurst Road in the centre back of the photo. Credit Peter M.The site of the Travelodge excavations, with 1-5 Amhurst Road in the centre back of the photo. Credit Peter M.

Fire crews were called to 1-5 Amhurst Road just before 8pm last night.

A spokesman from the London Fire Brigade said: “They felt the building was in some kind of structural danger, presumably someone felt it was likely to fall over or collapse.”

A structural engineer from Hackney Council was called in who felt nothing could be done to save the terrace - which includes the Cirrik and Raw Duck restaurants - and now the stretch of road is now closed to traffic while the buildings are knocked down.

A council spokesman said: “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.”

1-5 Amhurst Road held up with scaffolding, photo credit Peter M.1-5 Amhurst Road held up with scaffolding, photo credit Peter M.

Chair of the council’s planning committee Cllr Vincent Stops is providing updates via social networking site Twitter: “Bit of good news,” he said at 10am.

“They’re going to try and save 2/3 of the remaining Gibbons Building terrace, but nobody knows.”

An 80-room Travel Lodge motel is currently under construction in the adjacent car park.

An investigation into the cause is underway.

The council is paying for four of the evacuated residents to stay in a hotel over the weekend, while the other four are staying with relatives.

Amhurst Road will be closed until further notice between Mare Street and Pembury Junction.

Access to Hackney Central Overground station has been restricted to pedestrians via the northern entrance, but the Overground service will continue to operate at Hackney Central.

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