A Bedford building which was earmarked for demolition nearly 18 months ago is still awaiting the bulldozers and councillors are demanding action.
Rochmills Ltd, developers for the former Charles King building on the Broadway, was granted permission to redevelop the sites as a 106-unit care home in April 2013 but so far no work has begun in knocking down the structure.
Councillor Colleen Atkins said, 'This site is the gateway to Bedford town centre. This ruin detracts from the areas, as does the nearby boarded-up Porter Blacks abandoned building. It's opposite the John Bunyan statue and the lovely planting in St Peter's Green. Imagine how much better the town will look with both sites redeveloped. The current eyesore cannot be allowed to remain. We are demanding it is demolished as a matter of urgency'.
Councillor Louise King added, 'As ward councillors, Cllr Atkins and I are extremely frustrated by the lack of promised progress and we are urging the owners to hasten their programme of development. We appreciate proper permissions have to be sought and precautions taken to conduct demolition work safely but it is unacceptable for it to be neglected 18 months after planning permission was granted'.
A spokesperson for Rochmills Ltd said, 'We are working towards demolition of the site in the near future. We will continue to work together with the council and the tenant to ensure the site is continually improved in the long term and the short term'.
[Layth Yousif, Bedford Times & Citizen]