Following the fire at Baldock Industrial Estate on 11 July 2023, we have been working with the affected businesses, the management agents Brown & Lee and Hertfordshire County Council to support the recovery of the site. We are holding regular meetings with all involved to monitor the situation and offer support where we can.
Who to contact
To contact Brown & Lee management company, please email BIE@brownandlee.com.
To contact Hertfordshire County Council or North Herts Council, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Latest site updates
To support the businesses affected and the directors of Baldock Industrial Estate, Hertfordshire County Council and North Herts Council jointly proposed to fund a survey of the site. The cost of the survey will not be claimed back from site owners.
This initial survey aims to:
- Risk assess the structural safety / integrity of the buildings
- Risk assess the spread of the contamination including spread of debris outside of the perimeter of the buildings
- Provide any other information around obvious building related hazards
- Following a meeting held on 26 July with representatives of businesses impacted, offer guidance on the interim measures required including security arrangements to ensure the safety of the site
- Pay attention to the “tower building” and offer appropriate structural advice
The report will offer advice and guidance as to next steps of the recovery process for all parties involved. Once the report has been reviewed, a meeting will take place between Hertfordshire County Council, North Herts Council, Brown & Lee, and directors of Baldock Industrial Estate Ltd.
Control of the site
Herts Fire & Rescue Service had control of the site during the emergency. After the fire was extinguished, the site was handed back to Brown & Lee (acting on behalf of Baldock Industrial Estate Ltd). Any enquiries regarding access should be directed to them using this email address: BIE@brownandlee.com.
Brown & Lee have been providing updates directly to businesses and are seeking the contact details for all landowners and tenants to ensure communications are being received by all interested parties. Please ensure they have the correct details for you.
Cost of works
With the exception of the survey referenced above, Brown & Lee have been coordinating the costs to date. Please contact them for further information.
The role of councils
The role of both Hertfordshire County Council and North Herts Council is one of support and facilitation. Working with the directors of Baldock Industrial Estate Ltd and Brown & Lee, we will help to facilitate recovery on the site and support the businesses.
However, where a building remains unsafe, and the owners are unable or unwilling to make the area safe, council officers may need to play a more active role to ensure the safety of residents.
Brown & Lee are in contact with Affinity Water about restoring the water supply. Affinity Water have been on site and have started work to enable a temporary fresh water supply to be used by occupiers.
Gas and electricity
Work to begin the process of reconnecting gas and electricity supplies to unaffected business units is ongoing. Please contact Brown & Lee for further details.
A structural survey was carried out by Hertfordshire Building Control who inspected the fire damaged site from the service road and the immediate surrounding area. They deemed the remaining site that was affected by the fire to be substantially structurally unstable and, may in places, be dangerous. As a result, they have served notice on the estate directors on 14th July requiring a full perimeter fence and 24/7 security on site to ensure access to the affected units is prevented. This will remain in place until further information, such as a structural survey of each commercial unit or the site as a whole is obtained.
We will support the site owner to comply with the notices served, and to enforce those notices should they not be complied with. Arena Security have been instructed on the site by management agents Brown & Lee and can be contacted on 01462 481811.
Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue Service (HFRS) have completed an initial investigation and a summary report is now available. Initial investigations suggest that the fire was started accidentally.
The report can be requested by anyone who can demonstrate either residence or ownership of a property directly impacted by the fire, or to solicitors, insurance companies or loss adjustors who are acting on their behalf. Please submit any requests by emailing: email@example.com with full details of your business and reason for request.
HFRS have agreed to waive their normal fee, chargeable for access to Fire Investigation reports, to any businesses impacted.
Support for businesses
Alternative business premises
We have received some preliminary offers of temporary premises for business affected. If you are looking for alternative businesses premises, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will connect you to any relevant offers we have received so that you can discuss terms with them directly.
All businesses on the estate will be exempt from paying business rates from the date of the fire. Business owners do not need to contact us to arrange the exemption, it will be applied automatically.
Commercial waste charges
Commercial waste charges for businesses on the estate have been cancelled.
Hertfordshire Growth Hub
Hertfordshire Growth Hub is Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s flagship business support provider. Powered by Hertfordshire LEP, it is delivered by a consortium of partners, led by business support specialists Exemplas, with the University of Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and Visit Herts. The service provides a central point of access for businesses in the county to access support and guidance.
- Visit: www.hertsgrowthhub.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Telephone: 01707 952 777 (Mon–Fri, 9-5)