A POPULAR theatre is preparing to tear down a basement wall amid concerns over asbestos and have moved to reassure customers no shows will be affected.
Plans for the works, at the Palace Theatre, London Road, Westcliff have been approved by Southend Council.
Theatre bosses say there is no risk to the public and the works will not affect any shows.
A spokesman for the theatre said: “A wall containing asbestos leading to the area below the stage is to be replaced because of its age.
“There is absolutely no risk to the public since the wall is not in the public part of the building.
“Recent air samples have confirmed that there has been no release of the asbestos and the wall is being replaced simply as a precaution.
“The work will, of course, be undertaken by specialists to ensure that the wall is correctly removed and the work should take between one and two days.
“It will not impact in any way on the theatre or any shows.”
A council officer report states: “Having taken all the material considerations into account, it is found that the proposal for the removal of asbestos and replacement of two doors and a small section of wall partition in the basement would have an acceptable impact on the character and significance of the listed building.”
A planning statement added: “The proposed alterations will not affect the setting of the listed building and have no significant impact on the internal historical features of the property.
“Though some internal changes are proposed these do not involve the historic walls of the grade II listed building except for one small opening on the third floor and otherwise consist of internal stud partition removals which are clearly a later addition to the property.
“The main alterations that are proposed is to remove the asbestos doors which are damaged, resolve a leak and rectify on going damp issues.
“The works and alterations proposed aim to restore the listed building.
“The introduction of fire doors and fire related wall improves the fire safety of the building.”
The Edwardian style theatre was opened in 1912.
Earlier this year, theatre bosses announced plans to install spikes on the building to deter roosting pigeons. The Westcliff Grade II-listed theatre, has arches and ledges on its facade which have proved popular with pigeons.