VIDEO: Countdown over for residents as demolition starts on 'Ritz for Rats' hotel (From Bournemouth Echo)
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VIDEO: Countdown over for residents as demolition starts on 'Ritz for Rats' hotel
THE countdown is finally over for residents on Bournemouth’s West Cliff after demolition work started on the old St George’s Hotel.
Branded the “Ritz for Rats”, the building had deteriorated as developers struggled to agree on what type of brick should be used on 16 new apartments being erected on the site.
Chris Colledge, chairman of the West Cliff Green Residents’ Association, pictured, said the derelict hotel had been “a blight” on the landscape for over a decade.
The distinctive building is within a conservation area and, as part of their plans, developers Whitelocks were asked to reuse the original red bricks. But as more bricks were required for the new development they needed to agree with the council on the type of the new additional bricks.
As demolition work began, Mr Colledge told the Daily Echo: “As a community we are absolutely delighted; it is due to take eight weeks and then the new development will take around a year to complete.
“This marks the end of a long period of neglect with residents having to put up with all sorts of social problems caused by the derelict building; not just rats but drug use and lots of debris.
“The situation would not have been resolved, even now, if residents hadn’t campaigned for planning permission to be changed on the site. Initially planning officers had wanted half of the apartments to be holiday lets but, thankfully, it was changed to solely residential use.
“Seeing the building finally being pulled down is a tremendous relief for local residents.”