Leicester’s tallest high-rise residential tower block could be demolished next year.
Goscote House, a 23-storey residential block in St Peter’s Estate, is proposed to be decommissioned and demolished, after structural reports called into doubt its long term viability.
The building, which dates from the early 1970s, contains 134 flats made up of bedsits, one-bedroom flats and cluster flats.
It was earmarked for a £6.5million redevelopment as part of Leicester City Council’s tower block refurbishment project, which would have seen living areas reconfigured and other improvements made to the building.
However, a new report into the building’s long-term viability says that while the building is currently safe, inspections would be needed every five years to guarantee the ongoing structural integrity of its concrete framework.
A number of buildings elsewhere in the country of the same age and design of Goscote House are now showing signs of reaching the end of their useful lives.
The building is one of five tower blocks on the estate, four of which have been, or are in the process of being, refurbished by the city council to bring them up to modern standards.
The other four tower blocks in St Peter’s – Maxfield House, Framland House, Clipstone House and Gordon House – are all of a different design to Goscote House and are subject of a multi-million pound project to modernise and improve them.
About 30 of Goscote House’s 134 apartments are already vacant and decommissioned, and no new tenants are being taken in.
Of the 100 or so occupied flats, 70 are secure, permanent tenancies, with the other 30 being people who have been housed there temporarily from nearby Maxfield House, which is undergoing a £2million programme of refurbishment.
Demolition would not be expected to take place until at least April 2019, once the Maxfield House works are complete and Goscote House would be empty.
Leicester assistant city mayor for housing, Cllr Andy Connelly, said: “Goscote House was built when housing needs were very different. To bring it up to modern standards would require considerable work and significant investment.
“At the same time, the structural reports are telling us that the building is reaching the end of its lifespan, so we’re faced with a decision: spend money on it now to hopefully get a few more years’ worth of use, or stop and concentrate on rehoming tenants in more suitable, alternative accommodation. Ideally I would like to see the site redeveloped for other social housing in the near future.”