A FORMER Cockermouth court house has been issued with a condition warning - but authorities have reassured people that they are "ready to act in the event the structure of the building does fail in some way".

Allerdale Borough Council’s building control team has issued a warning about the condition of part of the Old Court House building in Cockermouth.

The team's focus has recently turned to a small two-storey extension to the rear of the property.

The foundations for this section of the property have been undermined in recent weeks.

The building, which sits alongside the River Cocker in the centre of the town, suffered damage to its foundations a year ago from river swell during an autumnal storm.

It has been unoccupied since. The council’s building control team has been making regular inspections of the property and have been working with the Environment Agency on a plan of action should further failure of the structure occur.

The team has also been in contact with the owner of the property who is ultimately responsible for its upkeep. The risk to the public of any collapse is currently considered to be low as the building is unoccupied.

It is also thought that the risk of material from any building failure causing a blockage to the river is low as it is likely the material will be carried with the river flow.

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However, Allerdale officers and the Environment Agency said they are ready to act in the event the structure of the building does fail in some way.

In recent weeks, building control staff have been meeting with local residents and businesses as well as members of the Cockermouth Emergency Response Group to inform them about the condition of the property.

Anyone with concerns about the Old Court House can call 0303 123 1702 (24hours including over the Christmas and New Year period) and speak to the council’s building control team.

Whilst the risk is low, if there is thought to be a risk to life, then people are urged to call 999.

The public are also asked to stay away from the immediate area of the building and not put themselves or others at risk by going to inspect its condition close-up.

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