BIRKENHEAD’S waterfront Woodside Hotel is being demolished without planning permission, after structural engineers deemed it unsafe.
Fire ripped through the derelict building in August, causing severe damage to the first floor, second floor and roof of the hotel.
The incident is still under investigation by Merseyside Fire Service, with the possibility of arson not ruled out.
Such was the devastation, a structural assessment carried out on behalf of owners Peach Developments determined the building was “simply too dangerous” to remain, particularly considering its location by busy roads and a bus station.
But no planning application was placed with Wirral Council and no permission has been granted.
A council spokesman told the News: “The current owners of the Woodside Hotel have had a structural assessment done following the fire, which found the building was unsafe.
“Faced with these findings there is no choice but to demolish the remains of the building.
“We have seen the findings of the survey, which was undertaken by a respected company and we fully agree with their findings.
“Retrospective planning permission will be sought for the demolition.”
Birkenhead councillor Phil Davies welcomed the development.
He told the News: “The owners have got very ambitious plans to build a brand new hotel and conference centre on the site.
“We welcome that because for a long time we’ve needed a really imaginative scheme for that area.”
Cllr Davies added that the council “just want something to happen”.
Bulldozers moved in on Monday, with the Bridge Street facing section of the building the first to be dismantled.
The spokesman for Wirral Council added: “It is sad to see the Woodside Hotel go but public safety is paramount.”
Repeated attempts were made by the News to contact Peach Developments’ Martin Lowe, without success.