Bognor Regis eyesore is torn down

This is the sight Bognor Regis residents have been waiting years to see.

It marks the beginning of the end for the town’s biggest eyesore.

Workers began to demolish the derelict Lec office block, which dominates the A29 Shripney Road, on Monday.

A high-reach demolition machine took the first chunks out of the concrete, brick and steelwork structure watched by a handful of councillors.

It will spend until the end of next week knocking down the three-storey technical and research building.

Raof Daud, the managing director of former Lec owner Sime Darby London, said: “I hope the people of Bognor will be happy to see this eyesore come down.”

The building, which also housed the site canteen, was put up in the 1960s and is believed to have been the most modern construction on the 10.5 acre site. It was last used in 2004 and has spent the past seven years presenting a downbeat welcome to Bognor for thousands of motorists each week.

Its days were numbered from July 4 when Brown and Mason Demolition moved in to clear and remove Lec buildings which had once housed up to 1,500 employees produced some of Britain’s finest fridges and freezers.

The firm has 18 workers – joined by a further seven for a specialist asbestos removal company – knocking down the buildings which date back to Lec’s arrival on the former gasworks in 1948.

John Pemberton, B&M’s site safety officer, said the demolition was on course to be finished within the 20-week contract.

The ‘A’ stores have already gone along with the boiler house, and a store building next to the railway line should go on September 11, when there are no trains because of engineering work.

The removal of the buildings will be followed by the clean-up of the ground to remove the effects of almost 60 years of fridge-making, and the gasworks which stood on the land previously.