A road will be closed in Halesworth for three days next month as part of ongoing repairs to two Grade II listed buildings which were seriously damaged in a fire last June.
The fire, which started within the first floor flat of No 29 Market Place and spread to the adjoining Mansion House, devastated a number of businesses and caused significant inconvenience to the town centre and surrounding area.
Since the fire, demolition contractors have been working to safely and sympathetically strip parts of the historic building fabric that cannot be preserved, under the watch of local conservation officers and structural engineers. In order to do this safely, structural scaffolds and temporary propping have been erected to stabilise the buildings and allow other ongoing surveys and investigations to be carried out in tandem with the strip-out process.
The precarious and historic nature of the buildings has presented challenges, not least the town centre location of the site which has restricted access and working methodology. Much of this could only be achieved piecemeal using a high access platform to access No.29 Market Place from above for safety reasons, whilst a series of temporary propping and supports were required to be introduced to Mansion House. With the debris and business possessions removed, the buildings’ structures have been stabilised sufficiently for further surveys to be carried out safely ahead of preparing applications for listed building consent and reinstatement specifications.
The next stage of the project requires a temporary scaffold roof structure to be erected over Mansion House, which has retained some historic and listed features. The scaffold roof will provide protection from the weather and allow further structural survey investigations to be progressed, as well as reinstatement works in due course.
The temporary scaffold roof will not be extended over No.29 Market Place due to the more extensive loss of historic fabric, although some temporary protection has been provided to the retained structures towards the rear of the property. Subject to Listed Building consent, a new permanent roof is to be reinstated to return the building to a watertight condition working in a ‘top down’ manner. A further Listed Building application will be prepared for the internal reinstatement works and finishes. A similar sequence is to be adopted for Mansion House.
The installation of the scaffold roof structure at Mansion House will require the closure of Market Place directly opposite Mansion House (between The Feed Barn and Halesworth Book Shop / Halesworth Carpet Shop), to allow the scaffold roof to be craned into position. This is scheduled for a period of 3 days from (and including) Sunday 17 February to Tuesday 19 February 2019. This is subject to weather and scaffold progress.
Please be aware that pedestrian access will be maintained to local shops and businesses, however, the pathways will be closed during each crane lift (approximately 30mins per lift) for safety reasons.