Demolition work has started on a multi-storey car park in Banbury with the first external concrete pillars being removed from the site.
Last month Cherwell District Council appointed Armac Group to demolish the Bolton Road car park after an independent inspection identified significant structural concerns and forced its closure in June.
Since then hoarding has been erected to secure the site and protect the nearby metal statue ahead of the first external concrete pillars, known as fins, being removed.
Councillor George Reynolds, Cherwell’s deputy leader, said: “Due to the car park’s size and structural issues, this is not a straight forward demolition where we can simply bring it all down at once. We need to be mindful of the concerns raised through the inspection, the risks involved with demolishing such a large structure and remain considerate of the residents and businesses neighbouring the site.
“As such the contractors will be demolishing the car park bit by bit, starting with the external concrete fins. The overall demolition will be a long process lasting several weeks but by taking the time to do it right, we hope to have this work completed and a surface level car park available to use in the run up to Christmas.”
The demolition, however, will cause some road closures as sections are removed. This weekend Armac will demolish the west tower, which is closest to Bolton Road. To enable the work to be carried out safely, a single lane road closure will be introduced from 7.30am on Saturday 17.
From Monday, September 19, work will then begin on demolishing the remaining areas of the car park, starting from the edges and working towards the centre. Specialist equipment including a hydraulic pulveriser and excavator will be used throughout the project.
The demolition work is expected to be completed by early December to enable a temporary surface level car park, comprising approximately 145 spaces, to be open in time for Christmas shoppers.
As agreed with Cherwell District Council, Armac are permitted to arrive on site and set up from 7.30am but must not commence any disruptive demolition work prior to 8am.
Throughout the demolition works, businesses in Bolton Road and the nearby vicinity will remain open as normal.