The council has made a delegated decision, which means it doesn’t need to be discussed at meetings, to approve the allocation and spend of £278,188 from the Capital Programme budget towards the works.
The works will include the removal of all demolition material left by intu from the concrete slab of the old Broadmarsh shopping centre and the covering-over of the concrete slab with a waterproof membrane to protect the caves from further water damage.
Arrange a 3D scan of the old shopping centre to ensure that the full extent of the cavenetwork is identified and recorded to comply with Historic England requirements.
In 2021 work commenced under a contract with Wilmott Dixon Construction for Phase 1 demolition and associated public realm works at the Broadmarsh Centre under which are located the Broadmarsh Caves. The Broadmarsh Caves are a Scheduled Ancient Monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 (as amended) (‘the 1979 Act’).
An inspection was carried out of the Scheduled Monument in early 2022 by Historic England, following the demolition of elements of the Broadmarsh / Severns House complex The former indoor area (south from 10 Middle Pavement / Drury Walk) adjacent to Severns House and the capping to the former escalator shaft lie open to the elements.
It was observed that “the cave roof infrastructure is exposed to the elements and water levels in the caves was high.
The cave roofs were wet and there was significant spalling in excess of the minor flaking and dusting that one would expect.
The collapse of deposits defining the tanning pits have appeared as a result of water level fluctuations.
The construction of the shopping centre and later works appears highly complex, and it would appear that irreversible relationships were created between ridged concrete fabric and fragile bedrock / caves. Significant un-surveyed areas of caves in varied states of preservation with archaeological and concrete fills, open areas and in places spray concrete coatings are visible above and below ground.
The inspection indicated that current survey and mapping is incomplete and these present significant risk in the planning and management of works.
The 1979 Act provides the legal framework for the protection of scheduled monuments.
The Council is the owner of the caves for the purposes of the 1979 Act.
As the owner of a scheduled monument, proposing to carry out works to the monument, the Council has confirmed with Historic England (Historic England’s representative for the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) that these works do not themselves require Scheduled Monument Consent (SMC).
If the council doesn’t carry out the works, it will be open to prosecution.