‘Six to eight weeks’ - Grosvenor Hotel owner verdict on demolition job

Owner Nimish Popat, of Earlcloud Ltd, has revealed more on the plan to knock down the former hotel

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The owner of the fire-wrecked Grosvenor Hotel has revealed how the site will be taken down, and how long it will take - as a plan to knock the once-proud hotel waits on a decision by Bristol City Council.

Posters up around the hotel near Bristol Temple Meads state the demolition work was to begin on Wednesday (January 25) - however, work cannot start until the city council decides if prior approval is required for the work.

Owner, Nimish Popat, of Earlcloud Ltd, was given a court order to make the site safe in November. Now he has given more information on the planned demolition to the city council ahead of its decision.

He said the building would be taken down using a ‘high reach excavator’ fitted with a hydraulic demolition pulveriser. One the building was down to a sufficient level, ground level excavators would then be used. He added that it would take between six and eight weeks to complete, with one to prepare with welfare facilities and site hoardings introduced.

Discussions look to be taking place with the city council over the perimeter of the safety fencing.

The letter from Mr Popat said: “Demolition of Grosvenor will be 100% mechanical, undertaken by a demolition specific high reach excavator, capable of reaching the highest point of the structure safely.” He added: “We envisage a 6 - 8 week window for the completion of works.”

The plan to knock it down has had a mixed response, according to the city council’s planning portal. One person said it was time to knock down the eyesore for regeneration, but another said the building should be restored due to its historic value.

A letter from the owner has been posted on fencing outside the Grosvenor HotelA letter from the owner has been posted on fencing outside the Grosvenor Hotel
A letter from the owner has been posted on fencing outside the Grosvenor Hotel

On October 15, the building was badly damaged by a huge fire. It had been closed since 1993 and more recently occupied by squatters. The building’s demise is in contrast to what it once was, with opening of the 70-bedroom hotel in 1875. It had been designed by one of Brunel’s former assistants, architect S C Fripp.

Avon and Somerset Police are still investigating the ‘deliberate’ fire on October 15.

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