Demolition work begins on former Matalan site to make way for flats
- Credit: Guinness Partnership
Demolition work has begun at the Matalan store in Stevenage, making way for 526 new flats after The Guinness Partnership secured planning permission in March this year.
The housing association has appointed Metro Deconstruction Services Ltd to carry out the necessary demolition and enabling works to prepare for the construction of the new homes.
The site has long been identified by Stevenage Borough Council as suitable for redevelopment and Matalan closed its store in June - although stated it was exploring opportunities in one of the town's retail parks.
Five hundred and twenty-six one and two-bedroomed apartments are planned, along with 779 sq m of flexible commercial space, which will be located at ground floor level.
Metro is now working at the site and is implementing an expected 14-week programme to carry out the demolition and the breaking up of all the hardstanding associated with the former store’s car park and service yard.
Jen Currier, head of major projects at Guinness said: “We are very pleased to get work under way on this important and integral part of the wider revitalisation of Stevenage town centre.
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"Now demolition and site preparation has started we remain on track to start construction in early 2022, creating an estimated 188 jobs.”
A letter was distributed last week to neighbours explaining the scope of the works and measures that will be put in place to ensure safe operation as well as minimising noise and dust.
Metro is a member of the Considerate Constructors Scheme and will seek to complete the works with as little inconvenience as possible to neighbouring residents and business. Anyone who wishes to report any issues or concerns can find contact details for the Metro team at the dedicated website matalansitestevenage.info.
The number of flats being built in the town centre has caused a divide in the town, with many telling the Comet that Stevenage does not need more flats.
Stevenage Borough Council, however, insists more homes are necessary and will help boost the local economy. A spokesman explained: "As our town grows and we face a very difficult housing crisis in southern England, we need to make sure there are homes for local people."
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