Emergency repairs carried out at city centre tower block twice within six months

The owners of a Sheffield tower block were issued with two dangerous structure notices within the space of just six months after cladding became loose and a window smashed onto the street below.

Monday, 29th July 2019, 10:30 am

Information obtained by The Star under the Freedom of Information revealed Sheffield Council issued the notices on the owners of City Lofts St Paul’s Tower, Arundel Gate, following two incidents in October 2018 and April 2019.

The reports revealed the notices were issued after cladding came loose in high winds on October 3, 2018 and an initial repot suggetsed a glass panel was damaged by tenants drilling through a bedroom wall and ‘the drill tip impacting glass’ on April 9.

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Abseiling engineers carried out repairs to the building in October 2018.

No-one was injured in either incident but both led to Arundel Gate being closed for a number of hours to make the scene safe.

Correspondence between the council and the owners of the building show that the company was invoiced for the closure of Arundel Gate after both occassions but the cost was not revealed.

An email from Sheffield Council’s City Growth Department also showed that an investigation into the latest incident on April 9 was ongoing and ‘has not yet reached a conclusion’.

The owners of St Paul's Tower said an investigation by their insurers the damage was not caused by a tenant drilling.

Arunel gate was closed while repairs were carried out.

The incidents caused long delays for motorists heading into the city centre and buses also had to be divered.

During the October incident, Arundel Gate was closed throughout the morning rush-hour until mid-afternoon and in April, one lane was closed with temporary traffic.

The £40 million tower is the tallest building in Sheffield sitting at 101m.

The 32-storey tower was completed in August 2010 as part of the St Paul’s Place development, which includes the Q Park multi-storey car park, casino and three office blocks.

Abseiling engineers carried out repairs to the cladding which came loose in October.

In a statement, the owners of St Paul’s Tower said: “There have been two isolated instances of damage caused to the external cladding of City Lofts.

“In each case, the building's management company, Premier Estates, acted immediately to ensure public safety, investigate the causes, repair the damage, and prevent further incidents.

“We accept, and apologise for the fact, that such activities have necessarily caused some disruption to transport – given the height of the building) – but no-one has been injured by these incidents and the disruption was short-lived.

“City Lofts remains a safe and desirable place to live, and we have acted, and will continue to act, proactively to ensure that the building is safe, both for the public and its residents.”

The owners added that they were still to receive invoices for the road closures which had to be put in place.