More than £400,000 has been awarded to Tendring District Council (TDC) to demolish a disused town centre building.
The council has received the grant of £420,000 from phase two of the Brownfield Land Release Fund to allow for demolition of Carnarvon House – and prepare the site for future re-development.
The office building, in Carnarvon Road, is owned by TDC and in recent years was leased to the NHS as office space until it was no longer needed.
It has lain empty since the NHS vacated it, with some temporary use as a location base and for filming for the movie Morris Men, shot in and around Tendring; and in May 2021 TDC’s Cabinet agreed to the demolition in principle.
Carlo Guglielmi, TDC Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Resource, said the grant funding would make a huge difference to the town.
“Carnarvon House has served the public well for a number of decades, whether as council offices, hosting the NHS or something else, but the building is of its time and I don’t think many people will be sad to see it go; sadly it is not a structure that can be made energy efficient nor can be adapted to any sustainable use,” Councillor Guglielmi said.
“Combined with the demolition of nearby Westleigh House, and the exciting future vision for the area, we are on the cusp of an opportunity to really transform Carnarvon Road into a beautiful avenue leading to the sea – a road travelled by many visitors and residents.
“Being able to pay for this work from government funding, and not local tax payer contributions, is a huge help to the council – while demolition also removes ongoing costs we face with owning an empty building.”
Short-term Carnarvon House will be demolished, with some internal work due to be started by contractors before Christmas before the building comes down in the New Year. Longer-term, the site is proposed for development as a flexible use community space and housing in the authority’s bid to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund.
The project has been developed with the support of the Brownfield Land Release Fund (BLRF2) from the One Public Estate programme – which supports regeneration projects turning derelict or underused council land into space for new homes.