DEMOLITION is finally under way at a problem-hit derelict business complex.

West Quay Marina in Poole has been targeted by vandals and has been the subject of a premises closure order previously.

The marina was formerly occupied by several businesses including City Bay Views Chinese restaurant, Twin Sails Wharf and The Marina Club.

Planning permission for development was granted more than two years ago but since the units have been lying empty they have been vandalised on several occasions.

Youths have smashed windows, set fires, thrown furniture from the top floor and put graffiti all over the walls.

Police have been called to the site many times, and detectives were even investigating reports that victims of child sexual exploitation were using it as a base.

Demolition reportedly started last week, and when the site has been cleared West Quay Developments will build 291 flats there. It will also build retail units and a quayside walkway and there will be car parking.

The situation became so bad last year that Poole council applied for a premises closure order at Poole Magistrates’ Court, which was in force between November 2017 and January this year. The developer was also forced to put up boundary fencing after planning enforcement manager Andrew Dearing warned action would be taken if the site was left unsecure.

When the demolition was first announced, Poole town councillor Andy Hadley welcomed the news, adding the site was a “magnet” for anti-social behaviour.