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The Old Courthouse, Cockermouth

Huge apologies, but I missed this email coming into my inbox a few days ago. This was the latest update from Cumberland Council.

"Legal action is being taken against the owner of the Old Courthouse building in Cockermouth. Following the partial collapse of the Old Courthouse building in Cockermouth earlier this month, Cumberland Council has issued a Notice of Intention of Emergency Works under section 78 of the Building Act 1984. This sets out the emergency work they have had to take to remove the imminent danger caused by the building. This includes installing fencing and installing a covered walkway across the Cocker bridge.

The council has also informed the owner of the property that they require access to the property and will soon be serving a further notice using section 54 of the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation) Act 1990. This enables a local authority to carry out urgent works for the preservation of listed buildings in their area after giving notice to the owner.

The Old Courthouse is a Grade II listed building, and the council is in ongoing discussions with partners including Historic England. Agencies are continuing to work together to protect public safety. Access is required to the site to undertake further survey work which will inform how and what works can be undertaken.

Some exterior assessments of the site have already been undertaken a LiDAR survey which has provided a 3D map of the building. A contractor is continuing to work with the council to assess access to the site and is helping to determine how any works could be undertaken. The bridge over the river Cocker continues to remain closed to traffic, as a precautionary measure, but a new walkway is available for pedestrians and cyclists. This opened on Thursday 12 October. Temporary traffic lights have been installed in Kirkgate and the on-street parking in this area has been suspended to help manage the flow of traffic through the town.

The river embankment has been fenced off in the potential drop zone.

Cumberland Council spokesperson said:

“Our officers have been working hard behind the scenes and following the partial collapse, took immediate action to protect public safety. Following legal advice, we have taken steps to gain access to the building to assess the quickest and safest way to take action that would then allow us to reopen the Cocker Bridge to traffic.

“This is a complex site and public safety is our main priority.

“We will do all we can to reopen the bridge to the vehicles as soon as we can but in the meantime, we have installed a covered walkway for pedestrians and cyclists.

“Cockermouth is open for business. Please continue to support local traders.”

Cumberland Council is continuing to support affected residents and businesses.

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