Some of the biggest pieces of construction kit in the South West are in Plymouth to start tearing down the tower of the Quality Hotel.
Two 100 tonne excavators with an arm reach of 34 metres will start work on the site to begin the most dramatic part of the demolition programme.
The two ‘high- reachers’ will tear chunks off the building from the top with the two more 35 tonne cranes working at ground level to move the debris away from the building. A sump is being created to the front of the site to catch any material.
The building material – mainly bricks, concrete and metal – will be ground down at the site to aggregate that can be recycled. An ex-fire tender will be on hand to hose down the site to prevent it from becoming too dusty.
Demolition contractors Gilpin have been on site since January to prepare the building for demolition after the eyesore was bought by Plymouth City Council.
The 10 storey building is being knocked it down and the land prepared for redevelopment, preferably for a hotel of international standing. It follows growing concern about the number of vandalism and arson incidents at the derelict site which towers above the Hoe.
All the ancillary buildings at the former hotel site, such as the office block and kitchen and reception rooms have now been knocked down, with only a pile of ground rubble remaining.
The contractors are on a tight deadline and have until MTV Crashes to get the tower down.
Leader of the Council Ian Bowyer said: “This building has blighted our magnificent waterfront and I’m delighted that we will literally see the last of it in the next few weeks.
“Local residents have been very patient so far and we are asking them to bear with us for just a little bit longer.
“This site has such incredible potential that the Council had to take a pro-active approach to make things happen.”