Centuries-old Chapel-en-le-Frith building teeters on brink of collapse

A time-worn building close to collapsing has forced the closure of a large section of a busy footpath in Chapel-en-le-Frith.

By Ben McVay
Friday, 19th February 2021, 4:45 pm

Locals say the centuries-old pink stone building’s wall - facing High Street - has been bowing outward “for as long as anyone can remember”.

Mac Burnham, of the butcher shop a couple of doors down the road, told how on Tuesday morning he arrived at work to find a large timber frame “propping” the house up.

And temporary traffic lights had been placed right outside his shop.

Locals say the centuries-old pink stone building’s wall - facing High Street - has been bowing outward “for as long as anyone can remember”

Father-of-two Mac, who has had the shop for over ten years, described how since lockdown restrictions began he regularly had shoppers queuing either side of his doorway due to a four-at-a-time-maximum policy in the shop.

Mac has already noticed a drop-off in trade this week – in contrast to a “huge increase” in retail since the start of the pandemic – and he fears the path obstruction and the traffic lights are to blame.

He said: “You can understand why they’ve done this because it’s scary seeing the stage it’s at.

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“But I’m a bit fed-up that no-one gave me any notice about this - the new stop lights are right outside my front door.

“It could put people off coming into town from Whaley direction - I won’t be pleased if the outcome of this is I’m going to do less trade.”

It is understood an out-of-hours structural engineer recommended securing the front of the building with timber after viewing it on Monday night.

However it is unclear when the structure will be repaired and for how long the traffic lights and footpath closure will be in place.

It is understood High Peak Borough Council are investigating whether or not legal action may have to be taken to arrange a permanent repair of the property.

A spokesperson for Derbyshire County Council said: “We were approached by High Peak Borough Council to provide traffic management following a structural engineer’s assessment of a building in Chapel-en-le-Frith.”

Speaking on behalf of High Peak Borough Council the spokesman said: "The borough council are investigating the longer-term plans.”

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