Demolition crews will move into Northampton’s run-down Greyfriars bus station in the next few months, it has been revealed.
Greyfriars is due to be replaced by a new bus station in 2014, but the leader of Northampton Borough Council, Councillor David Mackintosh (Con, Rectory Farm) has told the Chron that work to decommission the current building will start sooner than planned.
Wrecking crews are expected to move into the building in March to dismantle the abandoned offices above the bus station and dig up the rooftop garden, which is now said to resemble a jungle.
Councillor Mackintosh said: “The bus station is going to take an awful lot of work to demolish completely, but before we start on that there are the old offices and gardens up there that need to be fully cleared out.
“From March we’ll start to see how we can begin that decommissioning work, so people will be able to see that work towards demolishing the building has really started.”
But the council leader pointed out the complete demolition of the building would take a long time, adding: “It’s hard to say when work on the full demolition will start, but we need to do this preparation work before we can even move a brick.”
The offices above the bus station were used by Barclaycard until 1997. They have stood empty ever since.
The bus station’s demolition is planned as part of proposals to either expand the Grosvenor Centre or build a new shopping centre on the bus station site.
New plans for the Grosvenor Centre expansion are expected early in the new year.
Further development work in 2013 should also see work start on Northampton’s new railway station, work begin on the Innovation Centre near the railway station, a hotel built close to the Royal & Derngate theatre, and work on Northamptonshire County Council’s new headquarters begin.
The work follows the investment of more than £100 million in development projects in Northampton town centre in 2012.