Council to buy fire-damaged Grosvenor Hotel ‘if necessary’ - as owner confirms date for possible demolition
The condition of the building has worsened since the huge fire that damaged the former hotel on October 15
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Bristol City Council will forcefully purchase the fire-damaged Grosevenor Hotel ‘if necessary’, the authority has said as it waits on the owner to make the site safe.
A court order from Bristol Magistrates Court on November 28 last year told the owner that it had five weeks to either shore up the building near Temple Meads with specialist scaffolding or demolish it.
The court order expired on January 2 but owner Nimish Popat, who runs Earlcloud Ltd, has since applied to Bristol City Council’s planning department to ask if prior approval is required to demolish the building.
Bristol City Council took Mr Popat to court at the end of last year. The authority also has the power to obtain the property without the consent of the owner under a Compulsory Purchase Order after a decision earlier this year.
The condition of the building has worsened over the winter since the huge fire that damaged the former hotel on October 15. Mr Popat told the council he expected the works to commence on December 20, but there has been no sign of any new scaffolding or demolition work.
A sign from Earlcloud Ltd attached to fencing around the exclusion zone has now stated that the demolition is due to start on January 25, subject to the council’s prior approval.
In its statement, a spokesperson from Bristol City Council said the building remains the responsibility of the private owner. They said: “Since the council secured a court order to make the building safe or demolish it, the owner has made an enquiry to the planning authority about demolition of the building.
“The council is working with the owner to ensure any action is taken swiftly and will take the necessary further action if the conditions of the order are not met soon.
“The Grosvenor Hotel has been in a poor condition for several years. The Mayor and Cabinet have laid out plans to develop Temple Square, made up of The Grosvenor Hotel site, along with the old George and Railway Hotel and the land in between, with a mix of employment space and ground floor uses which will complement our ambitions for the wider Temple Quarter regeneration programme.
“The council has in place authority to exercise its Compulsory Purchase powers to purchase the site if necessary.”