Costa reopens but building still needs ‘vital work'
A coffee shop has reopened its doors, despite the building undergoing serious maintenance work.
Costa Coffee in Bridgnorth reopened on Wednesday after the store was forced to close for almost two weeks when tiles fell from the roof in high winds.
The cafe, which is situated in the landmark New Market Hall, was inspected by a structural engineer on Thursday, following a meeting between Shropshire councillors and the building's owner earlier in the week.
Bridgnorth residents have expressed their concerns regarding the building's safety, with one saying it had become a “dangerous liability” to the town.
"Its been a concern for a long time," explained Elliott Lynch, councillor for Bridgnorth West and Tasley.
He added: "We hold regular monthly surgeries, most months we receive lots of emails and calls regarding the building.
"Two councillors are in regular talks with Shropshire Council's building control team. However, it's been difficult to stay in contact with the owner, who lives in London."
The apparent roof sagging and wall deflection, which has been observed from the shops on Listely Street, is to be investigated further.
Scaffolding, which has been erected to roof height, now surrounds the landmark building, which was first built in the 1850s. The south side of Listley Street will also remain closed and barrier fencing will be re-erected.
In addition, the owner is intending to construct internal scaffolding to stabilise the building from within.
William Parr, councillor for Bridgnorth East and Astley Abbotts, said: "The new market building is a remarkable and iconic part of the high-street in Bridgnorth.
"It is so disappointing to see that over the years it has fell into deprivation.
"This situation is untenable and unacceptable, steps have to be made to bring the land owners to account.
"The last thing local businesses need is slates falling off the roof. Customers are bound to feel intimidated having to look up and wonder if something is going to fall on their head."
Shropshire Council has also instructed that the building's exterior is maintained to a high standard.
This includes repairs to the roof and first floor windows as well as the reinstatement of rainwater management.