Wildlife experts give green light to brewery demolition
Wildlife experts have given contractors the go-ahead to continue demolition work at the former Mansfield Brewery site.
Work on demolishing the brewery's main towers was halted on Tuesday 20th May when nesting birds were seen in the buildings. In the meantime, contractors, the Cuddy Group moved on to work on other buildings.
Following consultation with Natural England and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), the Council appointed a specialist wildlife consultant to carry out an additional survey of the site. The survey confirmed that no protected species were evident on the site.
The Council had previously received a license from Natural England to destroy or take certain birds (not including any protected species) as the work is being carried out in the interests of public safety.
Now the demolition works are progressing as previously programmed.
Mansfield District Council is using powers available under the Building Act 1984 to remove and make safe the dangerous structures on the former brewery site, which are considered to be a risk to public safety.
Coun Kate Allsop, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration at Mansfield District Council said: "When we found out that nesting birds were in the main brewery tower, we halted work immediately and called in Natural England and the RSPB.
"As the demolition is being carried out in the interests of public safety, Natural England were happy for the work to go ahead, provided the birds on site were not a protected species. To be absolutely sure we commissioned an inspection by a specialist wildlife consultant who has confirmed that there was no evidence of endangered species on site.
"It's a shame that any birds are being put at risk by the demolition work but ultimately, public safety must be given the absolute top priority."
Demolition work started at the former Mansfield Brewery site on 21st April this year.
Mansfield District Council appointed the Cuddy Group to clear the privately-owned town centre site using its powers under the Building Act 1984, relating to dangerous structures.
The costs of the demolition work and previous improvements to security at the site have been funded by East Midlands Development Agency (emda). emda's costs will be reimbursed as part of any future sale of the site.
Mansfield Brewery closed in 2001, ending 146 years of brewing in Mansfield. Since then the 6.1 acre site has been beset with problems, including thefts, vandalism and fires.
Administrators KPMG are in the process of gaining complete possession of the site after two former owners both went into receivership. Although some ownership issues still need to be resolved, KPMG have co-operated fully to facilitate the security and demolition works.
Meanwhile, Mansfield District Council has adopted interim planning guidance for the site which sets out the council's vision for its redevelopment. The guidance is a vital tool in guiding developers towards the type of development that would be acceptable– in this case a combination of offices, leisure, hotel, employment and residential uses.