‘Extra’ asbestos found on Eastbourne construction site

Official naming of "The Beacon" shopping centre in Eastbourne 13/9/17 (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-170913-124251008
Official naming of "The Beacon" shopping centre in Eastbourne 13/9/17 (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-170913-124251008

“Additional” asbestos was found by contractors demolishing a large section of Terminus Road to make way for the Arndale Centre extension leading to a £750,000 bill to remedy the problem.

But despite the unexpected discovery – in the row of shops between the former Gildredge pub and Watson’s News by MacDonald’s – last year, work is progressing well on the extension with the steel structures taking shape on what will house the new extension, completed with 22 new retail units, seven restaurants and an eight screen cinema.

The issues facing contractors were revealed in an interview in Construction News, the specialist online publication for developments.

The work on the centre extension and at the car park next to it is explained in an interview with Alan Quigley, senior project manager for Kier, which is carrying out the multi-million project.

Mr Quigley told Construction News that Kier is using a technique never before used on the creation of another two decks of steel-framed car park being built on top of the existing – and in-use – reinforced concrete-frame multi-storey, to cater for the anticipated increase in footfall to the revamped shopping centre.

“Possibly the most innovative part of what we’re doing is that the existing structure cannot carry the load of the concrete decks or the car park,” Mr Quigley says. “The existing RC frame columns are extremely slender and they can’t carry the load of even the concrete decking, let alone the vehicles”

Faced with the challenge, Kier opted for a new column strengthening system that avoids replacing the original structural support. A similar system was used on another project of ours at Gatwick, but this is a further development coming off the back of that.”