freeley completes demolition of seaside town landmark

Contractor J Freeley’s demolition of an eyesore has paved the way for the redevelopment of a key regeneration site in the north Wales resort of Colwyn Bay.

Manchester-based Freeley demolished the former market hall and neighbouring empty shops after landing the contract with Conwy County Borough Council following a competitive tender.

The council and the Welsh government bought the site in 2012 as part of the Bay Life+ regeneration project, which involves the purchase of buildings of strategic significance to Colwyn Bay’s future.

Freeley’s work involved removing asbestos from the 19th century, four-storey building and making the structure safe with propping before demolition could begin.

The demolition itself had to be carefully planned, as the site lies on Princes Drive, which runs through the town centre, and near the busy A55 and a railway line.

Complex traffic management issues had to be addressed, including the provision of temporary traffic lights and careful phasing of heavy goods site traffic to avoid congestion and disruption in the town centre.

Also, the buildings were attached to an historic and listed former cinema, now a Wetherspoon pub called The Picture House.

Following demolition and clearance work, the 0.5-acre site was fenced off, leaving it ready for redevelopment.

More than 98 per cent of the materials removed from the site were recycled for re-use in future construction projects, including 125 tonnes of wood and timber, 70,000 bricks, 20 tonnes of steel, 10 tonnes of light iron and 1,800 tonnes of hardcore.

J Freeley’s managing director John Freeley said: “Our experience in dealing with schemes of a complex nature meant we were fully capable of tackling the challenges presented by this project, including the presence of hazardous materials, the location of the site and the listed building next door.

“We were delighted to complete the project for the local authority, which will hopefully help to breathe new life into a popular resort.”

The next phase for the site will see council officials prepare a development brief and invite proposals for schemes which could include shops, homes, offices or leisure amenities.

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