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End of an era as town’s former meat processing plant is demolished
The Hygrade factory in Chippenham, representing 300 years of manufacturing in the town, is being demolished
The Hygrade factory in Chippenham, representing 300 years of manufacturing in the town, is being demolished.
A team started work at Westmead Lane last month and one of the former Hygrade buildings has already been flattened.
The meat processing factory closed in 2007, with 550 people losing their jobs.
Now, six people from Wessex Demolition and Salvage are working on site for eight hours a day.
The demolition will make way for the construction of retirement flats by developer McCarthy and Stone, which are expected to be ready to move into in June 2015.
Chippenham Vision, a partnership of key stakeholders working to improve the town, is pleased to see a central area being regenerated at last.
Chairman Tom Jacques said: “We did a lot of looking at the potential of the site and it’s very difficult to do anything other than residential use. We had some input into the design.
“It was disused and derelict and anti-social behaviour issues were starting.
“We’re pleased to see it going ahead.”
Overnight security was put in place at the site following trespassing in June.
Mark Bellamy, working on the demolition, said: “Work will be going on until the end of January now. There’s a lot of work to it.
“You take it down piece by piece and then you sort it all in piles. For the concrete and hard core we bring in a crusher and we crush it down. All the metal goes to the scrapyard and the rubbish goes to the landfill.”
McCarthy and Stone was awarded planning permission in April to redevelop the site as 58 assisted living flats for the over- 70s – of which 33 will be one-bedroom and 25 two-bedroom.
Plans also include 28 car parking spaces, a communal residents’ lounge, function room and serviced restaurant.
It is anticipated there will be 14 full-time staff and ten part-time staff providing 24-hour assistance.
Construction is due to start in March 2014, with the apartments due to go on sale in January 2015.
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