Stoke Newington High Street to remain closed until February 18

Collapsed building on Stoke Newington High Street. Pic: Hackney Council  

Stoke Newington High Street is set to remain closed until at least February 18, Hackney Council have warned.

The High Street has been closed between Tyssen Road and Brooke Road since the partial collapse of the building on January 27.

The council said the estimated date for re-opening was provided by contractors working to repair the damage. The contractors were working on the site when the collapse occurred.  

The collapse of the four-storey building led to brickwork tumbling onto the High Street which someone inside said felt “like a bomb went off.”   

Around 20 people were evacuated from nearby shops by emergency services.

There were two businesses affected by the evacuations. A spokesperson for one of the businesses, A and B Glassworks said: “The first thing we heard was a shout that was from the builders. After that, we saw a lot of dust, and then huge amount of rubble started falling. I felt like we had been hit by an earthquake or a bomb.”   

The 67, 76, 149, and 243 buses continue to be diverted, while the 276 is operating on a shorter route starting at Hackney Central station and ending at Amhurst Road/Hackney Downs station. Low traffic neighbourhood restrictions nearby are also temporarily suspended due to road diversions.  

A spokesperson for Hackney Council said: “The council has used its building control enforcement powers to take control of the work to make the building safe.”   

The spokesperson continued: “This is a complex work and teams are working around the clock. Our contractors have constructed a supporting structure that will stabilise the existing scaffold and the building.”   

The Health and Safety Executive are investigating the reasons for the collapse.

Stoke Newington resident Cassandra Shine told ELL: “There was dust everywhere. I was in the middle of shopping and started shouting for people to get away. It was a miracle no one was killed.”  

She also said: “We were very concerned about the builders. It could have all gone so wrong, so quickly. It is just a relief that emergency services arrived so fast.”   

According to tenants and businesses affected by the incident, the building’s owner and managing agent failed to fulfil their responsibilities by following clear safety precautions.   

The spokesperson for Hackney Council said: “We are making every effort to engage with the landlord and managing agent to raise these concerns and ensure that they take urgent steps to provide the answers and support nearby tenants and businesses need.”   

Hackney Council is asking landlords in the area to freeze rents at 118 to 124 Stoke Newington High Street for the entire period during which businesses are unable to trade.  

Further financial assistance from the landlord of the collapsed building is also being sought by the businesses impacted.   

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