CONTRACTORS have been appointed to carry out the demolition of Leicester’s tallest high-rise residential tower block this summer.
Leicester City Council is demolishing Goscote House, a 23-storey residential tower block on the St Peter’s estate which has stood empty since 2018, after structural reports called into doubt the long-term viability of the building.
The work will be carried out by DSM Demolition Ltd – the same firm responsible for the demolition of the former city council offices at New Walk Centre in 2015 – who will take over the site later this summer to begin the process of taking down the tower block.
Unlike New Walk Centre, which was felled using explosives in a process known as a controlled initiated collapse, Goscote House will need to be dismantled floor by floor due to its proximity to neighbouring buildings and the need to minimise disruption to people living and working nearby.
The demolition process is expected to start in August, and could take around 10 months to complete at a cost of about £5million.
The decision to demolish the building followed investigations into the potential costs of refurbishing the ageing block.
The cost of refurbishing the building for use for a further 30 years would cost over £21million, with safety inspections needed every five years to guarantee its ongoing structural integrity. Options for the future use of the site are currently being considered.
Four other tower blocks in St Peter’s are owned by the city council – Maxfield House, Framland House, Clipstone House and Gordon House. These are all of a different design to Goscote House and have been subject to a multi-million-pound programme to modernise and improve them.
The city council has also committed to a manifesto pledge to supply 1,500 additional council and extra care homes by March 2023.
Leicester City Mayor Peter Soulsby, said: “Unfortunately Goscote House harks back to a time when housing needs were very different, and no longer meets the standards expected of modern accommodation.
“Refurbishment in this instance would involve a huge investment in a building which is already at the end of its useful life.
“Taking everything into account, the better option involves demolishing the building and choosing carefully how to replace it with something that better fits modern needs and provides more benefit to the St Peter’s estate.”
The demolition costs will be met through the city council’s capital budget.
DSM Demolition Ltd are expected to take possession of the site in August to begin the process of stripping out the building. Work to dismantle the remaining shell of the structure itself is expected to begin by the end of 2021 or start of 2022.
DSM technical and business development director, Billy Young, added: “Following a demanding two-stage tender process, DSM Demolition Ltd are delighted and proud to have been appointed as the principal contractor for the demolition of Goscote House.
“This challenging project will be managed by a very experienced site-based team, who will wholly engage with the local community throughout the works.
“We will deliver the complex works in a safe and environmentally-friendly manner, minimising disruption to our close neighbours as much as is practicably possible.
“We have previous successful experience of working with the city council when we demolished and cleared the former council offices in New Walk, and we look forward to delivering this high-profile scheme in a similar manner.
“As and when the current Covid-19 restrictions are relaxed we intend to hold a public consultation to introduce our team and our approach to the works.”