AN eyesore building will soon be history after contractors moved back in to restart demolition work.
Billingham House, the derelict former ICI headquarters in the town, has been the subject of lengthy legal wrangling which has prevented Stockton Borough Council pressing ahead with its demolition.
The council had taken the decision to demolish Billingham House after it became derelict and its owners, Bizzy B Management, failed to take steps to prevent access to the site by making it secure.
Contractors had moved in to prepare for demolition last September after the High Court had previously ruled the council was legally entitled to proceed with the work.
But after substantial preparations had been carried out, work was halted after Bizzy B was granted a hearing to reconsider their application for permission to appeal.
A Court of Appeal ruling in London last month finally cleared the way for dismantling to begin and the council will pursue Bizzy B in order to recoup costs.
Initial work will now focus on removal of materials from the interior of the building and pumping out the basement level, with the demolition expected to start in August.
Councillor Mike Smith, the council’s cabinet member for regeneration and transport, said: “This will finally be the beginning of the end for Billingham House and will come as a huge relief for the residents who have lived in its shadow for so long.”
“We have fought for years on their behalf to remove the continued unwelcome presence of Billingham House from the landscape and I look forward to the day when the site can ultimately be redeveloped to the benefit of the local community.”