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Brierley Building Grade II* Listed, Northallerton

The Brierley Building


During a routine condition survey, failed plaster to a lath and plaster ceiling was discovered at the headquarters of North Yorkshire County Council. Further detailed surveying by our building surveying team identified ceiling plaster in a number of rooms in a potentially hazardous condition. Further detailed investigations identified the cause of the failure and noted that the upper side of some ceilings were contaminated with asbestos, restricting the options for repair. The Brierley Building is Grade II*, therefore remedial works would require Listed Building Consent. The building contained the offices of many of the key County Council staff, as well as being the only facility to hold formal public Council meetings This presented an additional and very considerable challenge, as the building would need to remain in use throughout the works.


It was evident that we would need to instigate an exhaustive consultation process with Historic England and the Local Conservation Officer to discuss suitable repair methods and agree how much of the original building could be retained.This process involved a number of intrusive investigations and the production of an options appraisal report that detailed the different repair options. The proposed works included the renewal of lath and plaster ceilings, repair and renewal of roof coverings and refurbishment of internal areas. The outcome of the consultation process was the preparation and submission of an application for listed Building Consent that resulted in consent being granted for the proposed works. The repaired fibrous plaster ceiling to the council chamber can be seen in the top right photo. When the work on site began, we acted as Contract Administrator to ensure the works caused the minimum disruption possible.


The completed works were recognised by a representative from Historic England as being an example of the high standard of repair and modernisation of a historic building that should be shared with others who were considering carrying out similar works.

The result of this work, along with the high quality new plasterwork has provided the County Council with considerably improved prestigious rooms to carry out their most important public functions. The works have considerably extended the useful life of

this important building and provided the opportunity to install the modern electrical services required to future proof the facility by the County Council

The technical and practical support provided by the project team has exceeded our expectation, and left us assured our building and budgetary requirements were understood and in safe hands. The granting of Listed Building Consent without any conditions reflects an understanding within the project team of what is required to work on a historic building of this type, it also allowed the project to proceed with certainty and without delay.

Andrew Maude, North Yorkshire County Council

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