Newbury's Faraday Road football ground clubhouse being demolished following fire
THIS morning marks a sad end for Newbury Football Club’s Faraday Road football ground as work began to demolish the clubhouse following last weekend’s fire.
Demolition vehicles and skips are on the site this morning as the entirety of the clubhouse comes down after the remaining structures were deemed to be “a risk to public safety in their current state”.
The work is being undertaken by local contractors and is forecast to take three days.
The council said undertaking the work now “represents the most cost effective course of action for taxpayers given the additional costs of securing a hazardous site”.
Council leader Lynne Doherty (Con, Speen) said: “The fire at the former football ground was regrettable and we have worked closely with the relevant authorities since the incident, including in bringing forward the demolition of the former clubhouse on urgent public safety grounds.
“In its current state the site presents a risk to the public and we have acted quickly to prevent further access to the site and to demolish the remaining buildings on the professional advice of building control and where the health and safety executive have advised we must be guided by building control.”
The fire took place in the early hours of the morning of Saturday, August 14, and gutted the building, with firefighters from Berkshire, Hampshire and Wiltshire battling the blaze for more than five hours.
Nobody was injured and the cause remains unknown.
West Berkshire Council, which owns the land, is still going ahead with its planning application to convert the site into an open recreational space.
The application is due to be heard on September 8 by the council’s district planning committee.
Mrs Doherty added: “We remain committed to bringing the site forward as part of an exciting new development on the London Road Industrial Estate and in the meantime will proceed with the live planning application on the former football ground, which will see it opened up as green space for use by local residents.”
The council has also submitted its planning application for the new ‘sports hub’ in Monks Lane which will be the replacement for the Faraday Road ground.
The application has yet to be validated, meaning it’s not yet public.
Watch the video of the diggers removing the remains of the burnt-out buildings.