A planning application argues demolition is necessary to avoid further fires and other danger
The historic front of Preston’s fire damaged former Odeon cinema building could soon be torn down.
The building, which also housed Evoque nightclub, was devastated by a huge fire on May 19, with flames billowing into the sky and onlookers watching on in shock. A partial demolition took place in the days after the fire and the rest could soon be cleared amid fears for the safety of the site.
An application has been lodged with Preston City Council asking for permission to flatten the entire site. The submission, from The Rigby Group, argues the building is not safe in its current form and that it would not be viable to rebuild around what is left on the site.
It raises fears over what could happen if trespassers were to access the unsafe site and argues demolition will remove security issues and risks of further fire. The application does seek to rebuild anything else on the grounds and any future development would therefore need to be the subject of another planning application.
The application states: “The proposed demolition of the remainder of the buildings on the site, would assist in making the site safe and secure again. The recent fire in May 2022 has resulted in the need to begin partial demolition of the existing buildings to ensure that the site is not a hazard, and the public are not at risk of any safety concerns.
“Currently, the extent of demolition works that are being undertaken in the case of the extraordinary circumstances, will not allow for the site to be secure. The lack of security at the site could result in potential health and safety risks to members of the public who may have the opportunity to access the site without authorisation.
“The demolition of the existing partially demolished buildings will ensure there are no safety concerns. The site will be restored with hardstanding following demolition and the site will match the surrounding levels of Church Street, Main Sprit Weind and Old Cock Yard.”
“The existing buildings in their current state are beyond repair and as such, their demolition is considered acceptable. The current condition of the buildings would not allow for conversion and as such, any future use of the site would need to be new build, which this demolition would facilitate. A number of the existing buildings were vacant for a period of time prior to the recent fire, and as such, the loss of their use is negligible.”
- 18:10, 14 JUN 2022