Council update on car park following sudden closure of Blackpool Magistrates Court due to RAAC

The sudden closure of Blackpool Magistrates Court after the discovery of crumbling concrete will not affect the council-owned car park attached to the complex.
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Blackpool Council has confirmed the Chapel Street Car Park beneath the court buildings will remain open as it is of a different construction.

The courthouse closed overnight on Wednesday after the discovery of RAAC (reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete) in the building, the same material which has been found in more than 200 schools.

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A Blackpool Council spokesperson said: “We are aware the magistrates’ courts in Blackpool have closed following the results of a recent structural survey. We are working with the HMCTS (HM Courts and Tribunals Service) to assist them where we can.

Chapel Street car park, beneath the magistrates court, will remain openChapel Street car park, beneath the magistrates court, will remain open
Chapel Street car park, beneath the magistrates court, will remain open

“Chapel Street car park is not the same type of construction as the courts and remains open”.

Work is due to begin next year on building a new courthouse on Devonshire Road as the current building is due to be demolished to make way for future phases of the £300m Blackpool Central leisure development.

Full planning permission is being sought for 10 hearing rooms, judicial chambers, a custody suite, public waiting rooms and administrative space.

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The council has received £6.9m from the Town Deal towards the scheme, while £40m of funding was announced in November 2022 for the demolition and relocation of the existing magistrates court.

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It needs to be bulldozed along with the former Bonny Street police station.

Preston Magistrates Court also closed suddenly in September, for up to three months, after the dangerous crumbling concrete was found in the roof, with cases transferred to Blackpool.

Blackpool Council said it could not comment on whether interim repairs would be made to Blackpool Magistrates Court ahead of the construction of the new courthouse in the town.