Six former shops are set to be demolished over the coming weekend, as the site prepares for the construction of Leicester’s new £13.5 million Haymarket bus station.
Work will begin work to bring down the small block of vacant buildings on the corner of Charles Street and Belgrave Gate from this weekend.
The majority of the demolition work will take place overnight for four consecutive nights, beginning on Saturday, 22 November and will mean the Haymarket car park will be closed overnight from 8pm to 8am, as well as from 7pm to 6am on Sunday and from 8pm to 6am on Monday and Tuesday nights. The car park will be open as normal at all other times.
Specialist hydraulic machinery will be used by the demolition team to quickly take the buildings down, while keeping noise levels within acceptable limits. Demolition materials will be removed from the site during the daytime.
Construction work on the new bus station, will extend into the area created by the demolition of these buildings, and will begin in January 2015.
The existing bus station will continue to operate until after the Christmas shopping period.
City Mayor Peter Soulsby said, “The new Haymarket Bus Station will transform this part of the city centre, and the demolition of this rather run-down block of buildings will be the first clear sign of that.
“Officers have worked closely with contractors to come up with a method that will cause the least disruption to traffic, retailers and people living in the area. However, we are very mindful of the potential disturbance of working through the night, and this will be closely monitored.”
The new station will increase capacity for local bus services, with the number of stands at the station almost doubling from 12 to 23, which should significantly reduce bus queuing and congestion in the area.
The redevelopment project has been awarded £3.5million of Government funding from the Local Pinch Point Fund, a decision that recognises the positive impact the project will have on reducing congestion and improving services for bus users. The council will fund the project with £10million of capital set aside for the Leicester Economic Action Plan.
The work is being carried out by demolition experts Windmill Group, and is due be completed by mid December, with the new bus station fully operational by December 2015.