Tonnes of pi­geon mess re­moved to clean out di­lap­i­dated church

Work al­most com­plete on first stage of mak­ing an out­door hub

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - NEWS - Paul re­och pre­och@the­

Work to clean out a di­lap­i­dated for­mer Perth church that has seen nearly 50 tonnes of pi­geon mess re­moved and a cull of the birds is near­ing com­ple­tion.

Perth and Kin­ross Coun­cil took over the run­ning of St Paul’s Church on South Methven Street in Fe­bru­ary and wants to cre­ate a £2 mil­lion out­door space at the site, which has lain empty since it closed in 1986.

Work has been pro­gress­ing since March when fresh scaf­fold­ing was put up around the B-listed build­ing.

The lo­cal author­ity had to em­ploy a con­trac­tor to carry out a cull of nest­ing pi­geons and also re­move as­bestos, strip lag­ging ma­te­rial from heat­ing pipes and re­move loose slates, ma­sonry, veg­e­ta­tion and other de­bris.

This work has al­lowed the coun­cil to ar­range fur­ther as­sess­ments, sur­veys and re­pair work on the derelict build­ing.

The plan to cre­ate an out­door hub will see the church spire be­ing kept, along with the shell of the build­ing.

A coun­cil spokesper­son said the in­ter­nal clear-out was near com­ple­tion with between 40 and 50 tonnes of the waste re­moved, along with dead birds and nest­ing ma­te­rial.

She also con­firmed a firm of ar­chi­tects has been ap­pointed to carry out de­sign work for the out­door hub.

“The ini­tial make-safe and in­ter­nal clean­ing works at the site are al­most com­plete, with an es­ti­mated com­ple­tion date of early Novem­ber,” she said.

“The tim­ber pews are be­ing un­fixed and re­moved. This will al­low fur­ther sur­vey work to progress and in par­tic­u­lar, a sur­vey of the tim­ber ground floor and sub-floor.”

She added: “A firm of lo­cal ar­chi­tects have been ap­pointed to ap­ply for listed build­ing con­sent for the next phase of work. The coun­cil is also fi­nal­is­ing the ap­point­ment of a works con­trac­tor for that phase.

“Th­ese ap­point­ments will al­low the next stage to progress to pro­gramme.”

It is un­der­stood there are around 35 tim­ber pews on the ground floor, with an­other 40 in the gallery.

A pro­gramme of works to se­cure and clear the build­ing of guano (pi­geon mess) was car­ried out in 2007 but no fur­ther main­te­nance fol­lowed.

“The ini­tial make-safe and in­ter­nal clean­ing works at the site are al­most com­plete, with an es­ti­mated com­ple­tion date of early Novem­ber

Pic­ture: Kim Cessford.

Scaf­fold­ing out­side St Paul’s Church on South Methven Street, as work is al­most com­pleted on clear­ing out the in­side.

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