Lorry damages Travis Perkins building

Photographers captured the moment a lorry crashed into the side of the Travis Perkins building at 156 West End Lane today. The vehicle brought down brickwork and masonry from the corner of the building, surprising the Wickes showroom staff inside.

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Dan Hirai, who works on Maygrove Road, was walking back from lunch at Nando’s at around 1.10pm when he saw the lorry coming up the hill and turning right into the Travis Perkins site. The cab of the lorry made the turning without incident, but then Dan describes hearing “a massive crunch” as the lorry’s container made contact with the building. He then saw material from the wall falling onto the ground.

“I thought he was going to reverse, but he just carried on.”

A Lymington Road resident also described his disbelief after the initial impact. “The driver didn’t get out, but reversed half a metre and tried again, hitting the building again, and then did the same. It took three or four attempts to get through, doing more damage each time.”

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The whole endeavour took a few minutes to unfold.

Lorry damages 156 West End Lane

The offending lorry (Photo via Dan Hirai)

The Travis Perkins site has never been among the area’s most popular or aesthetically pleasing – it is slated for redevelopment over the next five years. It didn’t take long for commentators on Twitter to express their feelings on this latest development:

  • Theo Blackwell

    Actually owned by the taxpayer that building…

    • Hope the council will be pursuing the driver’s employer for the repair cost!

    • Martin H.

      Owned by the taxpayer, how so?

      • The building is owned by Camden council (the offices above were council offices until recently). Travis Perkins is a tenant. See: http://westhampsteadlife.com/2013/07/08/5200-a-week-to-keep-west-end-lane-offices-empty/2667

      • Martin H.

        And is due for re-dev within 5 years, you write. Presumably the land is too valuable to be used as a building supplies yard?

      • Yes, pretty much – or at least the offices above are too valuable to remain empty. It’s part of Camden’s Community Investment Programme, which is raising funds for public services by selling off assets. The assumption is that it will become a predominantly residential development, though some mixed use is likely. Travis Perkins is known to be very keen to retain a presence..

      • Martin H.

        Plainly the site’s proximity to West Hampstead Thameslink makes the prospect of a good number of luxury apartments very attractive. Equally Travis Perkins must not want to leave the business on the table for Builder Center in Blackburn Road.