Demolition of eyesore Longscar building in Seaton Carew welcomed as 'massive step forward'
Demolition teams started tearing down parts of the Longscar Centre in Seaton Carew over the weekend - months after Hartlepool Borough Council served a legal notice ordering owners to fix it or flatten it.
The former Coasters pub site site has been empty since 2009 and the council has attempted to use a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) to take it into the authority's ownership.
But the move was rejected by a planning inspector in 2016 despite the site previously being as an ‘eyesore’.
The council issued a legal notice in March this year, stating that the site remained a "priority" and the state of the building was "detracting" from its £1.3million Seaton Carew regeneration scheme.
The latest move has been welcomed by Mail readers and now Seaton councillors say it is a milestone after years of campaigning to get something done about the site.
Coun James Black said: "I'm over the moon. I hope its pulled down and they leave the site in a nice state afterwards.
"It's maybe been more than 10 years since it was last used so it's been a long drawn-out process.
"The council have been involved in a legal process and that's gotten us to where we are today.
"It's a shame it's taken this long, but it's a turning point and the next stage is what's going to happen to the site next."
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Coun Leisa Smith said: "It's absolutely fantastic news.
"We don't know what their plans are but the eyesore gone is what should be celebrated. We wanted it down and we should celebrate that.
"They're going to have to leave it in a nice state and we can work with the owners of the land to see what we can do next.
"I have had many a good night in there and I'm sad it's come to this, but I'm also pleased it's come down because it's been a thorn in our side for too long.
"It's a good thing for the whole of Hartlepool and not just Seaton."
Coun Sue Little said: "It's wonderful. It's been a long time coming but I take my hat off to the council officers because all three of us Seaton councillors email them all the time about it.
"I stood there for about half an hour non Saturday and everyone was really pleased that its coming down.
"It's a massive step forward."
The sections of the building worst affected by the blaze in May 2018 had already been demolished at the time after initial surveys indicated it was unsafe.
The Seaton Carew regeneration scheme has so far seen a leisure park featuring water jets and play equipment for children which opened last summer.