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Top floor of Cambridge car park to be demolished ‘urgently’ over fears of collapse





The top floor of a Cambridge car park will be “urgently” demolished amid fears that it could collapse due to corrosion of the steel structure.

Cosin Court Car Park in Tennis Court Terrace is a two-storey car park used by Peterhouse, the University of Cambridge college, which sought permission from Cambridge City Council for the demolition.

Cosin Court car park in Cambridge. Picture: Google Street View
Cosin Court car park in Cambridge. Picture: Google Street View

The private car park, built in the 1970s, has 71 car parking spaces.

A visual structural appraisal report submitted to the council noted that 50 years of water leaking into the building and onto the supporting steel frame structure had caused corrosion.

The report said the frame was “heavily corroded” in places, creating “significant structural stability concerns”.

The consultant said if there were a local failure in one column, there would be a “risk of a disproportionate collapse sequence”.

It said temporary propping had been put in place to support the columns.

The report said repairing the car park could cost the college around £1million to £1.4million, and it is likely that there would need to be a “rolling scheme of maintenance” after these repairs.

A planning statement submitted to the council said the upper car park level needed to be taken down “as a matter of urgency”.

It added that in the long term, the college hoped to redevelop the car park, but that this was unlikely to be possible for several years.

It also said the loss of car parking spaces would be managed by the college.

The council recognised the concerns about the car park and supported the plans to take down the top floor, after the college agreed to install additional charging points for electric vehicles.

The planning officer said: “The existing development is not structurally sound with multiple areas of the steel frame of the building structure which show severe signs of corrosion, and so the existing building poses a risk to safety of future users of the site. The demolition of the first-floor elements of the car park are therefore supported.”



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