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Glass panels at Chester HQ building crack again

Glass canopies were only replaced last year but three are already showing signs of damage

Cracks have appeared in the glass canopies above entrances at the HQ building in a long running saga.

Just what is going on with the glass canopies at Chester’s HQ building?

Only last year all four canopies were replaced at both Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) and Abode hotel after three shattered on the council side.

But now three out of four have visible cracks.

A female council employee suffered a cut leg during the first glass panel failure back in November, 2015, affecting a canopy above the entrance to what is now Miller & Carter Steakhouse.

Cracks have appeared in the glass canopies above entrances at the HQ building including this one above the main entrance.

The council has since fitted laminated rather than toughened glass over that entrance and its other two canopies while Abode has replaced its canopy as a precaution.

Toughened glass shatters into tiny pieces when damaged whereas laminated glass holds together often showing a characteristic spider web type crack. There is now a tiny example of this on one of the panels above the Miller & Carter entrance.

More worrying are much larger but linear cracks in the canopies above the HQ main entrance and over a pedestrian walkway opposite The Architect pub. The canopy at Abode looks fine.

Cracks have appeared in the glass canopies above entrances at the HQ building including this one above a walkway opposite The Architect.

The council has always claimed the most likely explanation for the damage is due to objects falling from above although this remains a mystery as the windows in HQ cannot be opened.

Cllr David Armstrong, cabinet member for legal and finance, speaking in 2016, said: “The glass which failed met all current regulations and was fit for purpose. Following investigations, it has been concluded that the most likely explanation is that an object fell from above, causing the glass to shatter.

Cabinet member for finance and legal councillor David Armstrong

“The replacement glass is laminated rather than toughened. If it was to be struck by a falling object the glass would remain in place due to the interlayer which holds it in place.”

The Chronicle has asked CWaC for a comment on the latest situation and is awaiting a response.

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