17 reports of falling masonry in one day across Edinburgh during Storm Brendan

Experts warn homeowners to maintain their properties

Thursday, 12th December 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 12th December 2019, 6:43 am

SAFETY experts were called out to 17 reports of falling masonry in a single day as Storm Brendan battered the Capital.

Reports included stonework narrowly missing a pedestrian after falling from a Leith window and pieces of chimney shattering on a New Town pavement.

A special investigation by the Evening News in October revealed the full frightening scale of Edinburgh’s old and crumbling tenements.

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Firefighters deal with the hanging pipe on South St Andrew Street

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'Someone is going to be killed' - Nearly 180 reports of falling masonry from Edi...

Cllr Alasdair Rankin, Convener of the Finance and Resources Committee, said: “I’d like to thank our shared repairs team for their swift and professional action yesterday dealing with a large number of calls about damage to private properties across the city caused by storm Brendan. Thankfully as far as I am aware no-one was hurt.

“I would like to appeal to all property owners to maintain the buildings they own. I’d strongly advise owners concerned about loose masonry to have a building condition survey carried out. Our Shared Repairs Team can guide people through this process and our tenement toolkit offers step by step advice about how to maintain and repair your property properly. “

“The team is leading the way in Scotland on this issue and is a member of the Parliamentary Working Group. We’re always adding to our toolkit to help owners and it is used by other local authorities in Scotland all the time.”

Chimney debris on Drummond Place

“Somebody is going to be seriously hurt - it’s happened before and it’ll happen again"

There were four calls to the council of falling masonry in Fountainbridge on Tuesday, three in Leith and Newhaven, six in the Old and New Towns, three in Southside and one in Broughton.

Some jobs resulted in a cherry picker being scrambled to take down any further hanging debris to protect passers-by.

The council’s property officers talked to property owners and were told they would attend to the problems themselves.

Firefighters were called in yesterday afternoon after a five-metre cast iron pipe was spotted dangling above South St Andrew Street as thousands of shoppers wandered by below.

While the city council provides help and guidance on repairs, the upkeep of buildings is the responsibility of owners.

Scott Miller of Compass Roofing Ltd said: “As a company we’ve been relatively busy but that’s no surprise given the state of the housing stock in Edinburgh.

“You only have to dive down any street in town and look up to see defects on buildings - and I’m talking dangerous defects like overhanging slates and things.

“Somebody is going to be seriously hurt - it’s happened before and it’ll happen again.

“It’s the owners of the buildings who need to get it fixed, it’s not the council’s fault. It’s about general maintenance.”