Chichester eyesore demolition to start in autumn

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Demolition of a Chichester building branded an ‘eyesore’ by residents is to start this autumn, the owners have announced.

A newsletter circulated to people living near the former heritage sheltered housing development, in Winden Avenue, said the work would begin after the school holidays ended.

This comes after complaints from residents about the delay in demolishing the current buildings on the two- and-a-half-acre site, which have been empty for more than four years.

Owners Hyde Martlet are planning a new multi-million pound project to build 92 homes on the site – including 56 ‘affordable’ homes for over-50s, and 36 for sale on the open market.

A Hyde Martlet spokesman said: “Hyde is eager to begin work on this site and we’re doing everything we can to make it happen as soon as possible.

“In the meantime, we’re working with the local community to address their concerns and keeping them informed through meetings and newsletters.”

The Hyde Martlet newsletter said once the demolition work was completed, the aim was to start building the new development in January next year.

It said it would take between 18 and 24 months to finish building, with the aim of completing the project in early 2015.

Hyde Martlet said it received the letter from county councillor Margaret Whitehead about the delays with the plans.

It has written back to her and many of the issues raised have been directly addressed in public meetings.

Hyde Martlet added: “We are very disappointed about the delay which unfortunately has been due to a number of challenges beyond our control including; the length of time it took to secure planning permission, meeting statutory European legislation and addressing environmental issues such as the discovery of bats on the site.

“We are fully committed to building the 92 much-needed new homes for local people and continue to do everything we can to get on site as quickly as possible and hope to start demolition by October this year.

“We’ll keep talking to residents so that they are informed throughout the project.”