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23 June 2023
In the Isle of Dogs' Crossharbour Montessori Day Nursery on Thursday evening (15 June), a roof gave way. A third-floor roof collapsed into a second-floor nursery, according to the London Fire Brigade, which responded shortly before 9 o'clock in the evening and verified that there were no reported injuries and no people present.
The nursery is located in a residential high-rise tower that was constructed as part of Ballymore's Baltimore Wharf project's initial phase. The remainder of the building was "not impacted," according to Tower Hamlets Council.
Construction News questioned Ballymore about whether it oversaw the building's construction or employed a main contractor. The contractor has not responded.
According to a source, the nursery's building was sold in 2010, and the larger estate was sold in 2013. Since that time, Ballymore is believed to have had no further involvement in the management or upkeep of Baltimore Wharf.
The freehold of the entire site is now owned by Baltimore Wharf SLP, a company registered in Jersey. Since 2013, Galliard has developed parts of the site, including the 42-storey Baltimore Tower.
Julian Harper-Brown, managing director of Galliard’s in-house property-management services firm Property Management Matters, confirmed that Galliard was aware of the situation at the nursery.
“We were not the developers of this site,” said Harper-Brown. “However, Property Management Matters manage the scheme and have launched a thorough investigation.
“The safety and wellbeing of the children is clearly of critical importance, and we have been working closely with authorities since last night to address the reported incidents. We can assure all stakeholders that we are committed to implementing necessary measures to ensure a safe environment.”
The roof over the [nursery] 'juts out from the building', according to Peter Golds, a Tower Hamlets councillor in a nearby ward, who requested that the council 'investigate the situation with building control as to what happened about the roof over the [nursery].'
Additionally, he stated that the council should look into "any construction issues at all in the apartment block."
Tower Hamlets Council's spokesperson expressed shock at the roof collapse, adding that it was fortunate it occurred outside of nursery hours. In order to inspect the privately owned building, our team went to the location last night (Thursday).
We determined that the roof extension was dangerous, and we will issue a Dangerous Structure Notice only for this part of the building. The remainder of the structure is unaffected. We've also informed the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) about this incident.
"We anticipate that the building's freeholder will make arrangements for a structural engineer to investigate the cause of the collapse, inform us of their findings, and devise a plan for undertaking corrective actions.
While the nursery is closed, "the early education team of the council will work with the nursery to support parents and carers who need to seek alternative childcare."
The HSE has been contacted for comment.
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30 November 2023