The long-awaited confirmation of plans to demolish a Carlisle city centre building has been welcomed by civic leaders.
The Dias Building on Botchergate – formerly a musical instrument retailer – has stood empty for over 30 years, and current owners Persimmon Homes have now confirmed its plans to demolish the building.
The county and city councils have been encouraging the current and former owners of the property to develop a plan for the site over several years, with demolition considered the preferred option to enable the site to be redeveloped for the benefit of the local community.
The permanent future of the site – located on Botchergate near Carlisle city centre – has yet to be determined, although potential options include residential property development.
Additional residential capacity, for vulnerable adults requiring supported living accommodation, students and low-cost housing, are all key factors in the long-term vision for redeveloping this area of the city.
No planning applications have been submitted for the redevelopment of the site to date.
Persimmon Homes acquired the property as part of the purchase of another company several years ago.
The demolition works will require a temporary road closure of South Henry Street between April 12 and June 18, with scaffolding and hoarding erected to make the site safe and the demolition will be carried out by GM Demolition on behalf of Persimmon Homes.
The footway will also be narrowed during the works, and the safety of pedestrians and the workers on site will be of paramount importance, with appropriate signage and barriers in place.
Councillor Alan McGuckin, a member of the county council’s Local Committee for Carlisle, said: “This is fantastic news. The county council and city council have been seeking assurance over the future of this site for a long time, and I am pleased that this eye-sore will finally be removed, opening up the potential for a variety of new uses to benefit local residents.
“This is a large site in a key central location close to the city centre, and I sincerely hope that the owners will consider and include proposals for low cost housing as part of the redevelopment – something badly needed in this area of the city.
“I am pleased that the hard work of the county and city councils has paid off, and look forward to learning more about how this site can benefit the local community in the years ahead.”
Leader of Carlisle City Council, John Mallinson added: “The Dias Building has long been an unwelcome eyesore on the city’s landscape.
“We have raised concerns over a number of years and our officers, and their county colleagues, have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to encourage sustainable development on the site.
“It is placed on a key gateway to the city and its removal will enable more opportunities for the south of Carlisle.
“We look forward to this new chapter for Carlisle.”