TORN DOWN: New date for towers’ demolition
Hexham and Titan house along with the church walk centre Walker that are due to be demolished at the end of the year, Image: NCJ Media
Two massive tower blocks in Newcastle’s East End are finally set to be torn down next year, council bosses have confirmed.
Hexham House and Titan House, in Walker, have been earmarked for demolition for years, but are still standing after a series of delays to the area’s regeneration.
Both of the 16-storey buildings are now empty, with their few remaining Your Homes Newcastle tenants having been moved out after plans to knock down the towers were first revealed in summer 2018.
It had been hoped at the time that the two blocks’ removal and the building of around 50 new affordable homes in their place would have been completed by spring of 2021, but demolition work is yet to even begin.
Newcastle City Council now says it has appointed a contractor and expects the work to begin in the new year, while it is expected that it will take around nine months to complete the demolition.
A council spokesperson said: “We have now appointed a contractor to demolish Titan House and Hexham House.
“We have also put in place highways orders and temporary closure of footpaths in preparation.
“Following an environmental clean, asbestos will be removed from the buildings before demolition can begin.
“We expect this to start in the New Year and be completed in autumn 2022 in readiness for redevelopment.
“In 2022, construction work will begin to create new retail units at both the ground floor of Churchwalk House and the adjacent cleared site of the former Rathbone Centre which will enable the existing shopping centre to be demolished and redeveloped.”
In 2018, some of their few remaining tenants of the two blocks claimed that the buildings were being used as drug dens and had become full of “troublemakers”.
Having missed its initial deadlines for the demolition work, the city council had then hoped to see cranes move onto the Duncan Street site last spring.
Planning documents then later listed the start date for the works as August 1 of this year, but that date also passed without any major progress.
Words: Daniel Holland, Local Democracy Reporter
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