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Minister confirms demolition

A 180 year-old building in North Quay can be demolished and rebuilt after Hesketh Investments won its planning appeal.

The company had applied to knock down the former Riley’s building and rebuild it as flats with retail and storage space.

But the application was turned down by the planning committee which argued portions of the building could be saved.

However, structural engineers hired by Hesketh Investments said the building was unsafe and could collapse.

Planning inspector Michael Hurley said although the building was in a conservation area and had been built in 1828, it was clear there were significant problems inside.

They included rot, insect infestation, and structural defects that created a safety hazard.

He said the building wasn’t historically significant and recommended the demolition should go ahead.

Environment Minister John Shimmin (pictured) agreed and overturned the planning committee’s decision, allowing the work to take place.

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