Council gives owner two weeks to repair 'dangerous' Stoke-on-Trent building

Council leaders have ordered the owner of a fire-hit building to 'remove the danger' or pull it down - as a key road has been shut for more than three weeks. Firefighters from four stations had been scrambled to Newcastle Street, in Middleport, to tackle the blaze where one man was treated for smoke inhalation.

Since the incident - at around 4.30pm on April 7 - caging has remained up on the street with the stretch shut off between Dale Street and Newport Lane. Bus operator First had warned its number 98 service would divert along Westport Road as motorists have sought out alternative routes.

Now Stoke-on-Trent City Council has said the owner of the affected property has been 'unresponsive'. The local authority has told StokeonTrentLive that the owner has been told to 'remove the danger/demolish the buildings' within the next two weeks.

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A 'notice of emergency measures to deal with a dangerous building' has also been pinned to the caging outside the site.

The notice states: "The said building/structure is in such a state as to be dangerous and immediate action should be taken to remove the danger. You have 14 days from the date of this letter (April 25) to carry out the required works before the work is undertaken on your behalf. To fully demolish or partially demolish the structure to safeguard the public and to enable the highway, Newcastle Street, to be reopened to vehicular traffic. The council may recover from the complainant of the building/structure the expenses reasonably incurred by them."

Firefighters from Hanley, Sandyford, Longton and Newcastle were at the scene on April 7 - and remained there until the early hours of the following day. Investigators later deemed the blaze to have been started accidentally.

It also forced the closure of the neighbouring Morrisons Daily. The blaze represented another issue with a building on Newcastle Street forcing a road closure. Back in 2019 and bricks falling from a row of shops saw the stretch shut for several weeks as they were partially pulled down.

The city council says the continued closure of the road following the fire is 'not an option'.

A council spokesperson told StokeonTrentLive: "We have been seeking to engage with the owner of the affected property who has been unresponsive. Now the city council has issued a notice to the property owner setting out our expectations for them to remove the danger/ demolish the buildings within the next two weeks. If the owner does not undertake the works, the city council has powers to do so and to levy a charge on the property, as the continued closure of the road is not an option."

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