A Perth councillor has raised concerns over possible danger to the public caused by emergency repair work at a dilapidated former church.
Peter Barrett, who has taken a deep interest in St Paul’s Church for many years, has stated he is so anxious about “unstable” parts of the building falling on unsuspecting pedestrians that he has written to Perth and Kinross Council’s director of environment to seek an urgent update on the situation.
He expressed his worries following the local authority issuing a Temporary Traffic Restriction Order (TTRO) earlier this week to allow them to close neighbouring roads off to traffic while work takes place on the B-listed building.
The council took over ownership of St Paul’s Church this month from Arengate Ltd and are keen to press ahead with an ambitious £2 million revamp of the site in order to create an outdoor space. This would lead to the church spire and shell being retained.
The work, which has already seen loose roof slates and unsightly vegetation removed from the former church, is expected to take place over the course of the next 18 months, but Mr Barrett is seeking assurances over the safety of pedestrians in St Paul’s Square and the immediate vicinity of the derelict church.
He said: “I am concerned that the road has been closed until further notice to traffic because of the danger to the public, but nothing appears to have been done to extend an exclusion zone around the building for the safety of pedestrians.
“I am seeking urgent reassurance from the council that the safety of pedestrians in the area is not jeopardised. It is also imperative that the council clarify what the timetable is for the erection of structural scaffolding around St Paul’s to secure unstable elements of the building and prevent them falling from height.”
The Scottish Liberal Democrat councillor confirmed he has written to the council’s director of environment services seeking an urgent update.
A council spokesperson commented: “A TTRO has been granted for St Paul’s Square and South Methven Street. The length of the TTRO is a precautionary approach which will give the council flexibility to carry out the works as quickly as possible over a period of 18 months.
“We have held a meeting to determine the extent of scaffolding needed and the urgent works required.”
She added: “Council officers will respond to Councillor Barrett directly.”