Demolition of Amhurst Road homes underway

Construction workers at Armhurst Road
Demolition begins at Armhurst Road
Demolition begins at Amhurst Road

Demolition of homes on Amhurst Road is underway after several large cracks were discovered.

Eight people were evacuated from 1-5 Amhurst Road on 23 November while engineers assessed the damage.

The construction of a development including a new Travelodge hotel may be connected to the cracks, according to locals.

Nicola Evans, 39, who works in a café opposite the building, said that pedestrians had been complaining about the huge hole which had been dug out by contractors. An 80-room Travelodge hotel is being built as part of an Anglo Holt project in the adjacent car park. “I think the cracks may be caused by the construction of the hotel,” Ms Evans said.

The Gibbons building, which suffered damage after a fire in 2003, contains seven homes and two restaurants. Clare Lattin, the owner of Raw Duck, a coffee shop and wine bar likely to be demolished by the end of the week, said: “It’s clear that the cracks are related to the huge hole.”

Travelodge released a statement in which they declined to comment until a thorough investigation has been completed.

Hackney Council’s latest statement indicated that its priorities were public safety and the welfare of the occupants of the terrace. The council paid for four of the evacuated residents to stay in a hotel last weekend, while the other four have been staying with relatives.

Scaffolding was erected over the weekend and demolition began yesterday on the most unsafe part of the building. This was to ensure no further damage was caused to the terrace and to allow for retrieval of personal belongings.

Peter Ng, Senior Emergency Planning Officer at London Borough of Hackney, said: “It’s going to be a long assessment. We’re trying to save the building but some will be demolished.”

Amhurst Road was reopened to pedestrians on Tuesday evening, but will remain closed to traffic until early next week as work continues. Buses are currently running on diversion and Hackney Central Overground station will continue to be accessed from the North through the station car park.

An investigation into the cause of the damage is underway.