Demolition starts on health buildings

Demolition starts on health buildings

12 December 2012

WORK has started on the demolition two former health service complexes in Downpatrick.

Contractors started bulldozing the former Pound Lane health clinic on Wednesday of last week, with the work scheduled to be completed before Christmas. In the New Year, the nearby St. John’s House care home will be bulldozed.

Both buildings have been subjected to repeated vandal and arson attacks since they were vacated, with the former care home completely destroyed in a malicious blaze at the start of last month.

Local residents and politicians have been calling for the empty buildings to be demolished and are pleased work is at last underway.

Councillor Dermot Curran is pleased demolition work is now underway and said the move will be warmly welcomed.

He also hopes that once both sites have been cleared, they can be redeveloped as soon as possible to help with the economic regeneration of the Pound Lane area.

“The former care home has been attacked by arsonists and I hope it won’t be long before it’s also razed to the ground. The Pound Lane area has no life about it since the closure of the former health care buildings and the former Downe Hospital.

“It is important everything possible is done to ensure new investment is attracted to this part of the town. Residents in John Street and St. Dillon’s Avenue have had to put up with a lot over recent years and I hope new investment is forthcoming.”

Councillor Curran also believes that the former Downe Hospital should also be bulldozed. It enjoys protected status which means it can’t be demolished, but he believes that demolishing it would pave the way for its sale and redevelopment.

“I don’t believe anyone will purchase the former hospital site until the building which remains has been delisted. The cost of redeveloping the building would astronomical and this, I would suggest, is why developers are not coming forward,” the councillor continued.

“Pound Lane offers massive development potential and I hope its economic regeneration is an issue all local politicians will weigh in behind.”