Bulldozers have finally moved into Mansfield’s ‘eyesore’ general hospital site which has sat derelict for more than two decades.
Nottingham-based CMEC Demolition began remedial work early in November and has spent the last few weeks removing asbestos to make the site safe so the demolition work can begin.
In October, Chad revealed that the project cost had spiralled to £940,000 following the discovery of the asbestos - £360,000 more than first anticipated.
Mike Robinson, head of regeneration at Mansfield District Council said: “This is a really significant step as this building has been an eyesore for such a long period of time.
“It’s amazing how quickly we have managed to turn this around.
“In the end there was no need for a compulsory purchase order and having got hold of it, we have got contractors on site, which has been derelict for more than 20 years.”
While the demolition takes place, which should be completed by late April 2014, the council’s housing department will also be clearing the way for residential development, Mr Robinson said.
Demolition will be carried out in phases, firstly to remove the building next to West Hill Drive before then moving onto the main building set further back into the site, the council said.
The 1.3 hectare West Hill Drive site, which has been dubbed an eyesore by residents, was bought by the council in June 2013.
It comprises a variety of buildings, the oldest of which dates back to before 1900.
Because the premises have been unoccupied for so long, the site has suffered significant deterioration, and with the discovery of asbestos the project cost increased from an estimated £580,000.
Mansfield Mayor Tony Egginton has agreed to transfer the additional money from the authority’s capital programme and council reserves to make up the shortfall.
He said: “We have made a commitment as a council to sort out this eyesore which has blighted the area for the last 20 years.
“I’m please work is underway to remove what is a dangerous structure, due to the high levels of asbestos within the buildings.
“Since purchasing this site, the council has set a realistic timescale to demolish the buildings and remediate the site, and our plans are on track.”
Antony Hopkinson from CMEC said around 35 workers are involved in the demolition.