HSE to probe Essex hotel collapse
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has launched an investigation into the collapse of the Bell Hotel in Leigh, Essex.
The building, originally built in 1836, was purchased by developers Robin and Ben Levy. Following the replacement of the roof, the rear wall partially collapsed, which led to fears that the building could follow it, causing injury to pedestrians or workers.
A couple of days after the rear wall collapsed, the new roof also caved in. Due to the problems with the building, a decision was made to demolish the hotel, despite it being over 100 years old.
The Levys were in the process of converting the Bell Hotel into apartments, which would also have three blocks of flats located behind it. The flats would form part of the Bell Sands project, a multi million pound development. The Levy brothers have not given any information about the site, and what they intend for its future. However, following the incident, the HSE is now getting involved and has launched an enquiry.
According to a spokesperson for the HSE, the organisation can only state that the incident meets the criteria for an investigation. The chairman of the planning committee for Leigh Council, Caroline Parker, said that the incident could have been fatal if the building had fallen into the road.
Although the developers have n'o issued a public statement as yet, the HSE will conduct a thorough investigation. To avoid injury or illness, workers on the site would have been expected to use PPE and wear specialist workwear where necessary.