“The DoI has performed an almighty u-turn after a report has round that registered buildings on Douglas prom can be saved after all.
In October, the department was seeking a contractor for the ’emergency demolition of Tramway Terrace’.
At the time, DoI Minister Tim Crookall said: ‘The decision to demolish has been reached by taking into account specialist advice and the department is now looking for a firm to carry out the work straightaway.
‘This development is, of course, regrettable due to the building’s age and relationship with the historic horse tram operation. I would add that the historic stable block to the rear of the building is unaffected by the demolition plan and is expected to remain in use for many years to come.’
This followed an independent report which, the DoI said, flagged ‘immediate safety concerns’.
However, a report by Mann Williams Consulting Civil and Structural Engineers has now concluded that, while there are some localised areas requiring urgent work, the building is ‘repairable’.
Following the findings, and actions taken to make the building safe in the short-term, the tender exercise has been paused while options are explored to look at what should be addressed most urgently, such as water ingress.
Mr Crookall has now said: ‘We are looking at what can be done in the short and longer-term to secure the future of the buildings, so we can take the appropriate actions.
We have been working with colleagues in the Department of the Environment, Food and Agriculture and welcome the findings of the specialist’s report. While safety concerns correctly triggered the tender process for possible demolition, the findings of the latest report mean this has now been halted to examine how we can find a positive outcome.’
DEFA Minister Clare Barber said: ‘The demolition of a registered building will always be the last resort after all other options have been robustly considered — DEFA officers will continue to provide advice in respect of this registered terrace as they do for all owners of protected buildings.’
Despite this, the new report indicates that all options weren’t considered by the DoI when it announced it would demolish the building.”