Demolition of former bus depot is almost finished

ALMOST GONE The former Southdown bus depot on London Road
ALMOST GONE The former Southdown bus depot on London Road
Picture: SWNS

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THE demolition of a disused bus depot has gone well, according to First Wessex.

The former Southdown Bus Depot, on London Road, Hilsea, had housed buses since the 1930s but was getting increasingly run-down.

The eyesore has now almost completely been demolished and Hazel Warwick is happy with the progress so far.

Hazel, asset management director at First Wessex, said: ‘The demolition of the former bus depot is almost complete and we are really pleased with its progress.

‘Our contractors have taken every care to minimise the impact on local residents, as well as the environment, through managing to recycle over 95 per cent of the former building.

‘We hope to finish the demolition of the building by mid August.’

The site is set to become 59 flats, with a communal area and space for up to 77 cars.

There will also be a doctor’s surgery and a separate single-storey pharmacy with space for recycling and bike 
storage.

When plans were first announced, residents voiced their concerns about the effect it would have on the environment.

But, the bus depot was taken down almost brick by brick in order to avoid damaging the Hilsea Lines fortifications to its rear, a car showroom to its north, and the major road in front of the building.

An archeological survey is the next step for the site.

Hazel added: ‘An archaeological survey will be done one the site due to its close proximity to the former Hilsea Lines.

‘This is being completed by Southampton University.

‘Throughout this stage, we will also be preparing the site for the piled foundation which we are due to start in mid September.’

The building work has also been an opportunity for people to learn a new trade.

A partnership with Mansell Homes, Portsmouth City Council and Highbury College gave young people work experience through an Employment and Skills Plan.

Groundworks, drainage and the foundations will be completed by January next year, and the building work by the end of 2014 ready for a 2015 opening date.