WORK has started on demolishing an historic brewery site to make way for new homes.
Parts of the sprawling 160-year-old Gales Brewery, in Horndean, will be knocked down while other buildings will be redeveloped by Linden Homes.
For years, a question mark hung over the future of the four-and-a-half acre site after it was sold to Fullers for £92m in 2005.
One developer even pulled out after spending years obtaining planning permission, before Linden stepped in at the 11th hour.
Demolition should be complete by the end of October when work will start on 73 new homes, a doctors’ surgery, a care home, a shop and offices.
Members of Horndean Camera Club have begun a unique project to capture the transformation of the village which has the brewery at its heart.
This is the first picture after demolition work started last month, exposing parts of the site the public has never seen before. This image is of the building which was once the distribution hub but later became the offices.
Geoff Lambert, 68, has lived in Horndean for 45 years and is one of the camera club members involved in the project.
He said: ‘We wanted to make a record of the development as it happens.
‘Horndean has some very good old photographs from the 19th and 20th centuries which show the development of various parts of the village over the years.
‘They are on display frequently.
‘The danger is that the changes happening now might not be captured so we thought we should do it.
‘We are capturing what’s happening now and will follow it as buildings disappear and emerge.’
The iconic tower will stay but the building next to it will be knocked down and replaced with a building of a similar shape and size.
Mr Lambert added: ‘I’m glad the tower is staying, it’s been the symbol of the village for the past 160 years.
‘But I’m also glad other parts are going.’
Matt Paine, managing director of Linden Homes, Southern, said: ‘We hope to be in a position to hand over the keys to the first new resident in May 2013.’