Bristol City Council has initiated a major evacuation of residents from Barton House in Redfield following the discovery of significant structural faults. This decision comes after building surveys
indicated that the safety of the tower block could not be assured in case of a fire or explosion.
During a press briefing, the council conveyed the urgency of the situation, instructing residents—approximately 400 individuals—to leave their homes and either stay with friends and family or relocate to designated rest centers. The council emphasized the need for residents to pack enough clothes and essentials for a brief stay.
In a proactive effort, council staff are actively reaching out to residents through door-to-door visits and text messages, urging them to evacuate "as soon as possible." This immediate response is crucial to ensuring the safety of the affected individuals.
The council clarified that ongoing building surveys, part of the deliberations on the long-term future of Barton House, revealed potential compromises to its structure in the event of a fire, explosion, or significant impact. Additional surveys are planned to further assess the extent of the issue.
Declaring a major incident provides the council with the ability to seek external assistance. Notably, the council has stated that the problem is unrelated to RAAC concrete, dispelling concerns about a specific construction material.
The announcement of the evacuation led to the postponement of this afternoon's scheduled Bristol City Council meeting. Wellspring Settlement, a local GP surgery, announced on social media (formerly Twitter) that it is likely to serve as an information point for affected residents, offering support and guidance.
As a precautionary measure, emergency services have been placed on standby, underscoring the seriousness of the situation as the council addresses immediate safety concerns related to Barton House. Photo by Neiljforsyth, Wikimedia commons.