Park residents’ action group compares Trinity Tower evacuation to art school fire ‘mistakes’

The Park Residents’ group has spoken out against Glasgow City Council over its handling of the evacuation of residents from the area due to structural issues at the Trinity Tower building.

Residents living near Trinity Tower in the Park District were evacuated from their homes on January 29, after high winds brought by Storm Malik raised fears the structure could collapse.

The building had undergone structural repairs at the time – and the deterioration had been exacerbated by high winds. An exclusion zone has been put in place around the tower, preventing people from accessing their properties, which can only be removed once “adequate stabilization works” have been completed.

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Trinity Tower in Glasgow.

After the evacuation, it was reported that repairs to make the tower stable could “take up to three months”.

In a letter to residents, the council added that this is currently an estimate as surveys and design work are “at an early stage”.

Now the park’s residents’ action group have criticized the council’s handling of the situation, as they say residents have been told the 900-tonne structure remains at high risk of ‘uncontrolled collapse’, but the tower is still not secure. They also claim that Glasgow City Council has not met with residents or shared a clear action plan.

A spokesperson for the group said: “Six weeks later, residents are still prevented from returning to their homes. GCC says the building still poses a risk to life, but will not release an engineering report or provide an action plan for its stabilization or controlled dismantling.

“Another Glasgow landmark, a significant feature of our city’s skyline and an ‘A’ listed building may be lost forever. In the meantime, people’s lives have been turned upside down and are being met with adamant rejection. requests to return home, even briefly, to retrieve essential items, personal documents or medication.

“The Parliamentary report into the latest Glasgow School of Art fire in June 2019 harshly criticized the GCC’s response to this evacuation, the residents’ sense of abandonment and the lack of a cohesive and cohesive plan. They were told “lessons must be learned”.

“Serious questions need to be asked whether Glasgow City Council will ever learn from previous disasters and whether its current leaders place any value on the city’s architectural heritage or the lives of the citizens who live there.”

Resident Keith McIvor of Optimo Music explained that the evacuation means he faces uncertainty over work, saying: “After two years of not being able to work due to the pandemic, I am now faced with a continuous uncertainty because I have no access at all to my music collection or studio equipment, both essential for me to be able to work”.

Paul Sweeney MSP said: “Having discussed the situation with residents of the buildings contained within the Trinity Tower Exclusion Zone, I am in no way surprised that they are growing increasingly frustrated with the lack of progress or significant proposals from Glasgow City Council.

“The safety of residents is of paramount importance and the council had no choice but to evacuate six weeks ago, but that does not excuse the lack of progress made since then. In situations like these Here, it is important for all of us to remember that this is not just about buildings, but also about homes and the disruption residents are facing is colossal.

“Amazingly, we are now at the stage where residents are moved indefinitely while the structure remains at apparent high risk of uncontrolled collapse. If so, why is Glasgow City Council in conflict with postman and landlord appointed engineers rather than acting urgently to initiate repairs and reduce the exclusion zone so that residents can they go home?

“I have written to both council and Scottish ministers on behalf of residents, but the responses have been less than encouraging and it is clear that more needs to be done immediately. If need be, the Scottish Government should be involved to speed up repairs and provide the funding to do so if finances are a sticking point.

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: ‘We have been communicating regularly with residents affected by the exclusion zone around this dangerous building, and will continue to do so whenever we have information we can. provide an update.

“We fully understand how difficult it is for people to be away from home for an extended period of time and how important it is for them to receive information, and understand that the 2-3 month delay was given by the owners the contractor once he has confirmed the work he will have to carry out to secure the building.

“We have passed this information to affected residents and continue to work with contractors to ensure people can get home as quickly as possible.

“Housing tax will not be paid by residents during the period they are out of their properties. Residents were provided with (risk-assessed) access to retrieve essential items.

“The condition and upkeep of Trinity Tower is the business of the owners, and the work they requested was already underway when our building standards team was alerted by their contractors, who were concerned about its state.”

Designed by Charles Wilson, Trinity College dates back to 1856 and was originally opened as Free Church College.

Kayleen C. Rice