BULLDOZERS have rolled in to demolish the landmark Ollerton and Bevercotes Miners’ Welfare Club after community leaders joined forces to clean up the trouble-hit site.
The building has stood derelict since it went into administration in 2009 and became a magnet for anti-social behaviour and arson attacks over the past two years.
But after many months of false starts, diggers arrived at the Whinney Lane site last week to begin the process of flattening the welfare.
The demolition work is expected to take up to three weeks and the site is likely to be sold for housing development.
Sherwood MP Mark Spencer said he was delighted to be nearing the end of the process.
“I was able to gather round the table the trustees, district council, fire brigade, police, land agent, the receiver and Ollerton Town Council and together we identified where the log jam was occurring,” he said.
“Following several grumpy phone calls from my office and despite assurances that demolition would begin before 1st June, we finally have a digger on site and we can begin the process of redeveloping this part of Ollerton.”
The welfare has been plagued by nuisance behaviour since falling empty two years ago when the trust which ran it was forced to close the building.
A catalogue of incidents included a serious blaze in August 2009 when firefighters from five stations were called to the derelict site.
Ollerton and Boughton Town Council leader Coun Ben Wells said he was pleased to see progress and that it had been important to do things in the right way for the town.
“It has taken a long time but it was best to get it right,” he said.
“It will probably go for housing development and I think as long as the houses are suitable for Ollerton this will be ideal.
“It is close to shops, the doctors and other facilities in the town so it seems a sensible use of the site.”
The demolition means the end of a long-standing institution in the town, which first opened in 1936 and was replaced with the current facility, built opposite, in 1964.