Demolition work to raze a former college campus to the ground is complete.
The old East Durham College buildings off Essington Way and Burnhope Way in Peterlee has been knocked down in the hope the clearance of the site will make it more attractive to a new owner.
Tesco bought the land when it planned to build one of its Extra stores on the plot, with its proposals approved in 2011 alongside another supermarket which was supposed to be added to the grounds of the Castle Dene shopping centre and also approved, while a Morrison’s plan for land off Tweed Close was turned down.
A fourth scheme, for a supermarket at Dalton Park, was also given the green light and built, but Morrison’s, which has signed a 25-year lease on the unit, is yet to move in and has said it is reviewing its new store plans.
Now it is hoped new life can be breathed into the former college site that the derelict building has gone.
It had become a target for arsonists and thieves, while the library which was attached to the education complex has since moved into a temporary home in the town’s leisure centre while a permanent space is created for it within the sports base.
We’ve always been conscious of the need for this site to be brought back into use for the benefit of the community and this is a major step in that direction.Mark Thomas
Work to clear the structures was complete on Monday.
Tesco spokesperson Mark Thomas said: “We’re pleased to have completed demolition at our site in Peterlee.
“We’ve always been conscious of the need for this site to be brought back into use for the benefit of the community and this is a major step in that direction. “We’ll be keeping it secure as we continue our discussions with potential buyers.”
Tesco’s plans for the site, which had stood empty since the college moved to a new campus off Willerby Grove in 2009, had been expected to create 400 new jobs.
The Peterlee scheme was one of 40 it dropped following a dip in the company’s performance and looked to protect its existing workforce.