- Tower Hamlets
Eight Hackney residents have been evacuated from their terraced homes after the council labelled the buildings “an immediate risk to public safety” and ordered their “urgent” demolition.
The section from 1-5 Amhurst Road, which includes two restaurants as well as residences, was deemed “structurally unsound” after observers noted cracks in the building.
Four of the residents are now staying with family while the others are in hotels paid for by the borough. All are believed to be tenants.
A council spokesman said: “We’ll take care of the residents as long as necessary and we’ll work with the property owners to ensure that accommodation is found.”
Firefighters sealed off the area after identifying the partial collapse of a load-bearing wall. The council was subsequently informed of the damage to the building following calls made to the London Fire Brigade on Friday evening.
A council spokesperson said: “The process of demolishing the building could take all weekend, perhaps even several days.”
The ground floor of the terrace includes the Cirrik and Raw Duck restaurants.
The owners of the RawDuck tweeted: “We’re so so sad to say that the building we are in cannot be saved and the council are demolishing it today. This is a sad day. RIP Rawduck.”
Councillor Vincent Stops, Chairman of Hackney Council’s planning committee, also took to social media to express his commiserations: “Saddened by the news that 1-5 Amhurst Road AKA the Gibbons Building is to be demolished for structural safety reasons. Really sad.”
A Travelodge hotel is currently being built in the adjacent car park, however it is unclear whether this contributed to the structural damage. The buildings, which are owned by GMS Estates, survived a fire in 2003, which burned down a neighbouring furniture store.
The council confirmed that an investigation into what caused the damage is underway.
Amhurst Road will be closed until further notice between Mare Street and Pembury Junction. Access to Hackney Central Overground station has also been restricted to pedestrians via the northern entrance.