Monday, 28 February 2011

Work so far on the Old York Road Library

You will have seen in the local paper recently, and in the latest Lib Dem leaflet, that both Labour and Lib Dems are claiming the credit for getting a temporary roof fitted to this landmark Grade II Listed Building to prevent further damage and decay to the fabric of this building.

Well here are some pictures on the quality of the work which has been done so far which we do not believe either of our local politicians will be willing to claim the credit for, since it is clearly very shoddy and substandard, paying only the barest lip-service to the intentions of both the Council officers and local residents to save this building in spite of its present owner.

Schedule 1 attached to urgent works notice
  1. Remove all existing slate from the roof and place inside the building.
  2. Provide reinforcement to damaged roof structures to allow safe working and to support temporary roof described below.
  3. Line valleys with lapped heavy gauge Visqueen DPC or single-ply rubber membrane, held down with continuous strap laths laid along the length of the valleys.  The visqueen or alternative should an upstand of a minimum of 300mm and should dressed into the gullies to ensure discharge of rainwater into down pipes.     
  4. Cover all roofs in heavy gauge Visqueen DPC membrane, all membrane to be lathed at 300mm centres. Visqueen will be laid so that there is a continuous run from the sarking membrane down into the valleys.
  5. Tower to be covered with Visqueen
  6. Clear down pipes and gullies and refix missing sections of down pipe in UPVC sufficient to ensure that rainwater discharges to the gullies.  
  7. Fix steel door inside existing sheeting to rear door.

copyright C O V E N

Refers to point 4

The plastic sheeting in the middle roof is lifting, revealing the wooden roof slats - how is this supposed to make the roof watertight?

Copyright C O V E N

Refers to point 4

Here you can clearly see that the plastic sheeting has completely pulled away from the staircase - and this before the jobs is even finished.

Copyright C O V E N

Refers to point 6

Here you can quite clearly see that no drain collection box has been fitted to the down drainpipe leaving any rainfall actually collected from the roof  to run down the walls, internally or externally.  It is also clear that the holes punched in the fabric of the building by the scaffolders have simply been left to open further damaging the  building

Copyright C O V E N

Copyright C O V E N
You can see the many holes punched in the windows to make room for the scaffolding poles have been left completely open, no attempt has been made to board them up and pigeons are roosting in the the building.  Clearly no attempt whatsoever has been made to make this building even minimally watertight

Copyright C O V E N

Windows have been either broken or removed to accommodate scaffolding poles, since they have not been either replaced or boarded where this has happened we have not confidence that this will be the case here.

Copyright C O V E N

Trees and shrubs cut down close to the building to give the scaffolders access have been piled up and left, along with an accumulation of other rubbish posing a fire hazard to the building.

Please click here to see the written answers to our questions raised by COVEN at the Inner East Area Committee Meeting on the Old Library building, its sale and maintenance.  It lists what should have been done in Schedule 1, it is apparent that on point 4 and 6 this clearly has not happened.  It also states that damage caused by the need to erect scaffolding will be repaired but it is clear that it has not been and the scaffolding has now been removed so it is not going to be done either.

It also raises questions about how this building, while in council therefore residents ownership, was allowed to deteriorate to such a state that it sold for so very little before being allowed to deteriorate to its present pitiable condition.


  1. Well it is obvious to me a shoddy job has been done. And with those photos it wont be difficult to prove either. I wonder how many site visits have been made to the building by LCC?

  2. We have similar problems with an old civil building here in Birmingham the poor maintenance of the building allowed developers to pull it down has it was a health and safety risk. That is how they get around the issues of developing over listed building. It a shame know one used this great historical buildings.

  3. That doesn't look like work at all. It even looks like those who "worked" on it don't have an inkling of how important buildings are as they get older - historically and culturally. I hope Old York will be restored respectably in the future.