‘Significant’ amount of asbestos found in Greyfriars bus station

Northampton Greyfriars Bus Station.
Northampton Greyfriars Bus Station.

A ‘significant’ amount of asbestos has been identified in the Greyfriars Bus Station ahead of the scheduled demolition of the building.

A report submitted with a planning application to demolish the building states asbestos has been found in insulation panelling, cement panelling, fire doors and ceilings.

The first phase of the demolition works, due to begin on March 31, will be to remove the asbestos “safely”.

The report, written by Mike Kitchen, principal regeneration officer, stated the work would generate “temporary noise, vibration and air quality (dust) pollution and nuisance.

Mr Kitchen stated: “Noise will emanate from the deconstruction of the building using the long-reach munchers.”

“Further noise will be created by the crushing and sorting of the recovered material on site,” the report added.

It is estimated there will be 450 lorry movements from the site during the demolition process that will be timed to avoid peak periods of congestion.

The work will be carried out from 8am until 6pm Monday to Friday and 8am until 1pm on Saturday.

There will be an occasion, possibly Easter Sunday, when a full road closure will be required to remove the bridges that go over Lady’s Lane and Greyfriars.

The report states that the only permanent impact arising from the demolition would be the loss of Greyfriars and associated subways.

It stated: “Greyfriars is not subject to any specific local or national designation and nor is it regarded as contributing positively to the local environmental character or setting.

“Whilst the probability of the identified impacts occurring is high, they are temporary in nature and the duration and frequency will be timed so as to ensure the least disruption to neighbouring uses.

”Detailed discussion have been held with Northamptonshire Highways who are taking a holistic approach to the town centre network.”

Site hoardings will be erected to ensure that members of the public do not come into contact with the operations being carried out on the site.

There are two electrical generators on the site that will need to be removed.

A large cable that forms part of the “power ring” servicing the town centre will also need to be switched off.

Feral pigeons were the only form of wildlife found to be nesting in the Greyfriars bus station, according to a specialist survey.

Bird experts carried out a survey of the building to check for any signs of protected species, such as bats or barn owls nesting, but no wildlife was found apart from pigeons.

It is estimated that 19,617 tonnes of material, 96 per cent of the building, will be reused or recycled.

A substantial quantity of this material, including concrete, brick and steel, will be used to fill in the passenger subways, the passenger access to the bus bay and the Grosvenor Centre entrance.

The report also states a 46,000-litre diesel tank, five 205-litre metal containers and an 800-litre anti-freeze tank will need to be “isolated and protected” during the demolition phase to prevent land contamination.

It is expected that it will take 36 weeks to demolish the bus station.