Watney Market underground car park set for £2m safety works

8:00 AM September 28, 2022

A car park that has a waking watch because it has no working sprinklers is set to have £2million spent on it to improve safety.

Watney Market underground car park “is in very poor condition”, according to a Tower Hamlets Council report.

Council officers have recommended the approval of funding for the “urgent” works.

The project includes refurbishing the existing sprinkler system and emergency lighting as well as works to the concrete structure and drainage.

The sprinkler work is needed in response to a fire deficiency notice issued by London Fire Brigade, according to the council.

“The lack of a serviceable sprinkler system results in this being a fire risk,” the report said.

“The current state of the property poses a risk to health and safety and falls short of statutory building compliance.”

It explained that the lack of a working sprinkler system is being mitigated by a waking watch to the tune of £328 per day.

The replacement of the emergency lighting, which is “no longer functioning effectively”, with LED lighting will help reduce “high levels of anti-social behaviour in the area”, the document added.

The underground car park in Shadwell also sees “persistent flooding” and has “inadequate surface water drainage”.

The car park contains spaces for residents of Colstead House and Melwood House – two blocks managed by Tower Hamlets Homes -.as well as those who reside in another block run by One Housing, according to the report.

There is also an area of council parking which has been unused “for a number of years”.

Council officers have recommended the project is added to the council’s Housing Revenue Account capital programme, with delivery of the scheme set to be in the next 12 months.

The report said that around 82 spaces will be brought back into use when works have been completed.

Cabinet is set to discuss the recommendations at a meeting tonight (September 28).


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