REASSURANCE has been given to Darlington residents who might have been alarmed by the sight of a pile of bricks that appeared to have collapsed from a wall onto a pavement.

The large load of bricks appeared on a pavement on Clifton Road by the boundary wall of the former cattle mart this afternoon. 

One nearby resident contacted The Northern Echo expressing concern that someone could have been trapped under the rubble, but the contractors behind the ongoing demolition of the mart, Thompsons of Prudhoe, confirmed that it was a controlled procedure carried out with all the necessary safety procedures.

The Northern Echo:

Workmen at the site on Clifton Road                Picture: STUART BOULTON

It was carried out as part of the ongoing demolition of the former cattle mart site near Darlington train station.

Mark Hill, business development manager at Thompsons of Prudhoe, said: "It was controlled demolition works that were being undertaken by the footpath, it was under close control at all times and no risk to the public was posed."

The safety measures included workmen being stationed at either end of the site to ensure that nobody could have unwittingly wandered along the pavement at the time of the collapse.

Cllr Alan Marshall, Darlington Council's cabinet member for economy, said: "The demolition works are generally progressing well on site with the larger shed superstructure now taken down.

"We are maintaining regular contact with the contractor and understand from them that this was a controlled demolition."

Thompsons are managing the clearance of the site after the cattle mart moved to a new Humbleton Park premises near Burtree Gate on the outskirts of town.

No plans have yet been drawn up for the future of the former mart site but the council says it will form a key part of the redevelopment of the Bank Top area, in conjunction with current improvement works to Victoria Road and the major upgrade of Darlington Railway Station.