I noted this evening with some amusement that the good ol’ Express & Star lags behind the Brownhills Blog yet again. On Saturday, you’ll remember, I pointed out that demolition of the old Shire Oak reservoir had pretty much started. In that post, I included a picture or two of the machinery on site. Four days later, I spot this report in the local rag. Some bits of it are rather funny – I can’t really see that the agents would undertake a demolition on this scale speculatively, so I’d hazard that a deal has been done, and that it’s none of the local papers’ (or bloggers, for that matter) business. Secondly, ‘remedial work’ seems a rather understated term for the complete demolition currently underway, and this is certainly the most thoroughly destructive ‘investigation work’ I’ve ever witnessed.
As to any development, there’s only outline permission – there would have to be a second planning process before anything actually got built, so we’re some way off that, yet. I notice the Mike Flower ‘Chronic congestion at Shire Oak junction’ line is being peddled again – whilst the crossroads is certainly busy as befits the crossing of two arterial roads – it’s not anywhere nearly as congested as say, Street’s Corner. Waiting times there are huge. Curiously, there’s the space at that junction to alleviate the problem but nobody seems to want to do anything about it… perhaps Shire Oak serves the rhetoric better.
I’ve taken a stroll up to the site a couple of times since my last post concerning it, and demolition seems to be progressing relatively slowly. In my ignorance, I expected the structure to come down quite quickly, but as of today (Wednesday 22nd July) an inroad has been cut from what I thought would be a haul-way (looks like I was wrong about that…) in a straight line toward the internal stairway at the rear. The roof is much thicker than I imagined, and seems to be primitively steel reinforced. Separate machinery seems to be stripping away the embankments around the walls in preparation for their removal… frustratingly, earth has been scraped in a heap to my usual entry point, so I can’t get in for a closer look, which is maybe for the best considering the hazardous nature of the situation.
I noticed on Monday that the original brick structure had been exposed, and consisted of blue engineering brick. That would have been a costly job, for sure. I wonder if the bricks are being recycled? There’d be quite a few there, although the later concrete skinning would probably render them beyond reclamation.
I’ll continue to record the demise of this interesting structure and detail what I see here. It’s interesting to me at least, to see the approach used to remove this unusual construction. As to what may replace it, I’ll keep looking out for planning applications and post whatever I can here.