Popes Road Car Park

Demolition project background

The Car Park in Popes Road was situated in the heart of one of London’s cultural Hotspots- Brixton Market. Built in the early 1970’s, the building has served the area for over 40 years and had become an iconic symbol for the local residents.

However, the steel packer plates between the spandrel panels and the main frame had rusted and blown, which had compromised the structural integrity of the structure. Following a number of structural reports the Car park was deemed unfit for public use and a possible source for falling debris. This in mind, the Car Park was commissioned for demolition to uphold the safety and wellbeing of the local population.

The close proximity to the busy Brixton market, a railway line, a public house, council depot and live highways meant thorough vetting of all contractors was necessary. Following a vigorous tendering period, in which DDS’ submission was closely scrutinised, DDS were successful in their bid to demolish the Structure and commenced works on site November 2010.


  • Establish welfare on site, and erect hoarding around the site boundary creating a safe working environment.
  • Undertake a structural survey to support our proposed methodology, and get a more detailed understanding of the car parks construction.
  • Phased scaffold erection on all elevations, aiming to achieve minimal disruption in a highly populated area.
  • Remove the two link bridges over Popes Road (one concrete and one steel) with the assistance of a 200t and 350t mobile cranes.
  • Removal of Asbestos shuttering use as permanent form work on the Car park structure
  • Remove all accessible steelwork, lattices etc prior to structural demolition commencement.
  • Utilising a combination of top down and piecemeal techniques, demolish structure to 500mm to underside of slab level to a safe, controlled and environmentally friendly method.
  • Decant from site, leaving in a safe and clean condition.

Achievements & Successes

  • The site was situated adjacent to Brixton Market, and was closely enclosed by live highways, footpaths, Housing Association accommodation, commercial buildings, a public house and the Market Waste Hub. It is essential that DDS maintained a strong focus on Health & Safety and Environmental pollution to ensure we had a minimal negative impact on the local residents and business’.
  • DDS employed a combination of top down and piecemeal demolition in our methodology to ensure we had maximum control over the deconstruction process, and to ensure we kept all demolition debris within our site boundary.
  • Due to the high level of daily traffic, DDS removed the link bridges in two phases as to minimise disruption to the area outside of core trading hours. Road closures were successfully installed, with an effective traffic diversion route in place minimising delay to any journeys.
  • The building was constructed with the use of large spandrel panels on all elevations. DDS liaised extensively with our Structural Engineer, Scaffolding Contractor and Networks Rail to create a safe system of removal without further compromising structural integrity, but keeping within the tight programme confines.
  • There was a large amount of concern from the local business’ and population surrounding the demolition of the Car Park. To re-assure all concerned, DDS appointed a site specific resident liaison officer to handle all queries, and erected a site information board visible to the public which displays a fortnightly newsletter.