Demolition work has begun on two notorious town centre buildings to make way for exciting new developments. St James House and the Waiting Room in Queen Street, Colchester, will be torn down over the next several weeks in the next step of Colchester Council's redevelopment of the St Botolph's Quarter which will include a hotel, leisure facilities, new retail units, student accommodation and the new Curzon cinema. The buildings will have a wrapped scaffold to minimise dust and disruption to neighbouring buildings. Anglia Demolition is leading the project.
Spokesman Lee Storer said the firm were determined to keep the impact on surrounding properties to a minimum, even though it was a complicated project. He said:
"Along with working on projects immediately adjacent to St. James House, we are in a privileged position to see the positive impact that the regeneration scheme is already having on the St Botolph’s Quarter. After months of planning, the works are due to commence on St James House. Every effort has been made to ensure the local neighbours and businesses will be impacted as little as possible during what is a complex demolition process – and we would like to thank them in advance for their ongoing co-operation and support.”
St James’ House, which was built in 1968, is five storeys high and will eventually be replaced by an 87-bed hotel, 230 student homes and a new food and drink quarter. Colchester’s High Steward Sir Bob Russell previously criticised the initial proposals as being “Lego-like” and called for both Colchester Council, which owns the land, and its developer, Building Partnerships, to rethink them. The development is due be completed in early 2019.
The building was formerly home to the Keddies department store but for the last decade it has been empty. It is attached to Roman House which is undergoing conversion to a Curzon boutique cinema and restaurants. The council's commercial services boss Annie Feltham (Lib Dem) labelled St James House 'an eyesore' and said the work to tear it down was an important step in the plans to redevelop the area. She said, "this demolition work is a notable milestone in the redevelopment of the Queen Street area. St James House has been derelict for a number of years and is an eyesore. The work has been carefully planned to create the minimum of disruption, and by demolishing the building, we will be taking a significant step in improving the look of the area and in taking forward our longer term plans."
Source: Daily Gazette