Checking various Internet resources, I was astonished to find a new intiative in progress at Plymouth’s now near-derelict Ideal org building i the UK.
Bought in 2010, this building has been effectively abandoned for 11 years, before having had asbestos-contining material removed by a contractor. The interior is no in a poor state – professionals would not venture in without proper protective equipment, as you can see in this previous post.
Despite the potential hazards for unqualified and inexperienced people, Plymouth Org is recruiting members to “strip out” the interior of the place.
There is a picture of them gathered outside, which shows the with woefully inadequate personal protective equipment . Is this legal? Are they insured? That’s a matter for appropriate authorities., but health and safety regultions in the UK are quite strict.
If it’s not, they maybe shouldn’t have declared on the site that two members have put in 25 hours each, and 5 others 10 hours each. That’s 100 hours of light demolition work by people who have little ideal what they are doing.
As you can see from the picture above, some work has already been done, boarding up the windows. They were previously in very good condition, but now you can’t see inside…
Here are extracts from the webpage in question, along with photographs that I took myself from outside of the site.
They clearly state they have been doing this work since March, when working in an enclosed space would have been covered by COVID regulations as well as those which apply to health and safety.
This at least explains where all the rubbish which was dumped around the back, was coming from – but raises the question of how it is being disposed of – as commercial waste (which must be paid for) or domestic waste, ferried to the tip in cars as work progresses.
Around the back of the building, the loading bay area (where homeless men used to sleep) has been completely filled with new rubbish. Originating as it does from a redundant hotel, this certainly qualifies as commercial waste.
Scientology has a positive obsession with conferring ‘statuses’ upon people. These are usually given for donating money to the Ideal Org project. In this case they seem to be accepting free labour instead. Unpaid work is something that unemployed people claiming state benefits need to declare, as I’m sure they know.
Anyone who isn’t familiar with Scientology in Plymouth might find the skull with safety helmet image alarming. The explanation is that Plymouth’s fundraising is based on a ‘pirate’ theme (yes… people dress up as pirates to give money) and the above is a clueless mixture of imagery, not a suggestion that they intend to risk their lives to do some minor preparation for building work.
Also, I think all but the first two are inappropriate for a renovation. Dynamite is not often used to ‘restore a building to it’s former glory’ 🙂
Third (and final) extact:
From this finl part of the same page, we can see that the two people named of the left have put in at least 25 hours and not more than 50. The 5 named in the middle have put in at least 10 hours each and not more than 25. That does indeed total at least 100 hours of work.
This being Scientology, the ‘thumbs up’ picture on the right is inevitable. It shows 6 people who may or may not be those named.
Here’s the point of entry, around the side, through the door at the dop of the metal stairs. I don’t know what the person changing outside was doing in there but that’s a Volunteer Minister outfit, last used by Sea Org visitors to hand pamplets out to local businesses.
The respirator is a good idea, but trainers are not safe in an environment like that. You need proper boots with reinforced toecaps in case something falls on your feet, and special soles which resist things like nails coming up throught them.
I sincerely hope this person is picking up gear for some other activity, because you shouldn’t be stripping out a building dressed like that, nor should you do that work on your own.
Also new is the scaffolding around the edge of the collapsing flat roof on one of the buildings at the rear. That’s to prevent people falling off – but amateurs working at height is a dangerous proposition. I hope that was professionally done, and only professionals are venturing up there (where it must be comically easy to fall through).
So what’s going on? Does this mean that there’s a prospect of professional work on the renovation of this building recommencing any time soon? local Scientologists are certainly being encouraged to think so.
I’ve studied this place for a long time. It has planning permission – but it’s had planning permission before, and they allowed it to lapse. They have promised time and again that this time the project will be carried through – and it stalls. All you can do it keep watching, see what happens and make no assumptions about what might happen next.
Some work is being done. It might be a prelude to restoration. It might be essential works to prevent the place rotting out and falling down. The ‘stripping out’ might be significant – or merely another way to persuade local Scientologists to give even more more money towards a project that’s never going to be finished.
All we can do is wait and see (and hope nobody gets hurt). They are at least coming out of their lockdown slumber.
In the meantime, here’s a link where you can download a video file showing how bad theinterior of the building is, with the kind permission of a group of ‘urban explorers’ who were there to shoot it.