Fire-wrecked Grosvenor Hotel set to be demolished by ‘end of January’

A court order to shore up the building or demolish it expired on January 2
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The former Grosvenor Hotel near Temple Meads could be knocked down within days after the owner applied for permission to demolish the fire-damaged landmark.

Nimish Popat, who runs Earlcloud Ltd, was given an order by Bristol Magistrates Court that the building had to be made safe or demolished after Bristol City Council took him to court at the end of last year.

The court order on November 28 told Earlcloud that it had five weeks to either shore up the building on Portwall Lane East with specialist scaffolding or demolish it.

That court order expired on January 2, but it has now been revealed that Mr Popat subsequently made an application to Bristol City Council’s planning department on December 8 to determine if prior approval is required to demolish the building.

The application pointed out that the condition of the building has worsened since the huge fire that damaged the building on October 15 and that the east and south elevations are unsafe according to a structural engineer’s report.

On the application form, Mr Popat told the council he expected the works to commence on December 20 and to be completed on January 31. The application was supported by a report by structural engineers Momentum based on a visit to the site on October 21, three days after the fire.

The report pointed out that all damage was observed from outside at ground level as the building was deemed unsafe to be accessed from the inside.It highlighted the severity of the damage to the east facade and the north half of the facade and reported that many floors and sections of roof had completely collapsed.

The Grosvenor Hotel in BristolThe Grosvenor Hotel in Bristol
The Grosvenor Hotel in Bristol

The report concluded that the building suffered extensive structural damage during the fire, with parts of the north east corner destroyed in their entirety.It said the facades remain standing but are currently ‘unrestrained by the backing floorplates or by the roof, and are therefore potentially unstable’.

The engineers’ report also said other facades should be treated as ‘potentially unstable’. According to the council planning portal, the appeal is ‘pending consideration’. Bristol City Council has been approached for comment.

Meanwhile, Avon and Somerset Police continue to investigate after it was deemed that the fire was started deliberately.

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