07/09/2023 - Permalink

Parts of Whitchurch Civic Centre to close until RAAC inspection is carried out

Related topics: Assets and estates / Leisure, culture and heritage
Whitchurch civic centre

Whitchurch Civic Centre

Parts of Whitchurch Civic Centre are to close to the public after an assessment identified RAAC (reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete) roof beams in parts of the building.

The assessment found that part of the roof to the rear of Whitchurch Library has RAAC roof beams. However, some temporary props are being inserted and the library will then remain open pending more detailed surveys.

Other parts of the Civic Centre – operated by Whitchurch Town Council – also have RAAC roof beams, and there may also be some in the intermediate floors.

As a result, a detailed structural inspection of the Civic Centre must now be carried out by specialist structural engineers. As they are in great demand nationally it is likely to take up to three weeks before they can complete the work at Whitchurch Civic Centre.

Some areas of the Civic Centre will be closed – with immediate effect – until this work has been completed.

In the meantime, Whitchurch Town Council will have a presence in the library.

The market/sports hall to the rear of the building is unaffected and will remain open, though using the entrance from St Mary’s Street – and the Friday market will continue to take place.

Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for housing and assets, said:

“For safety reasons we have had to take the decision to close some areas of the Civic Centre to the public until specialist engineers have carried out a detailed inspection of the building and we can have reassurance about safety. However, I’m pleased that the library will remain open, that the town council will have a presence in the library, and that the weekly market will continue to take place.”

Mike McDonald, Whitchurch Town Council Proper Officer, and Councillor Andy Hall, Whitchurch Mayor, said:

“Unfortunately, based on expert advice from structural engineers and our corporate landlord Shropshire Council, we have had to close some of our facilities whilst investigative steps take place. We are working closely with our Shropshire Council colleagues to resolve this as soon as possible. Whilst there is no, identifiable, immediate danger, it is a responsible measure for the safety of the public and our staff, and we hope to be able to reopen facilities as soon as possible.

“In the interim, the Town Council will maintain a presence in Whitchurch Library, on weekdays from 9.30am-3pm – except when the library is closed on Wednesdays – and Saturdays from 10am to 1pm. The council can also be contacted by telephone on 01948 665761 and email on info@whitchurchcouncil.uk.

“The Friday markets will take place, as usual, at the front of the Civic Centre and in the Market Hall – though access to the indoor market will be through the Market Hall’s independent access on St Mary’s Street. Similarly, all other events and bookings in the Market Hall/Sports Hall remain unaffected and some other events may be relocated to the Hall where possible.”