Bracknell town centre regeneration

Winchester House, Bracknell being demolished

Winchester House (former 3M building) demolition starts

The demolition of one of Bracknell Forest's most well-known buildings, Winchester House, has started with the iconic 13 floor office block due to be razed to the ground by spring.

The former 3M building, now owned by Comer Homes, will disappear from the borough's landscape over the coming weeks.

The demolition of the building is another significant milestone in Bracknell town centre's regeneration. To mark the momentous occasion, Bracknell Forest Council's executive member for economic development and regeneration, Cllr Marc Brunel-Walker, and Comer Homes Group chairman, Brian Comer, visited the site on Friday (November 28).

Cllr Brunel-Walker and Mr Comer inspected the site, including the 180 tonne Hitatchi long-reach cruncher, which started knocking down the building's exterior on Thursday.

The building, which was 3M's UK headquarters until 2003, will be knocked down by the long-reach cruncher to the fourth floor. It will then be taken down by a smaller machine and by spring 2015 it will be completely removed from the borough's landscape.

The work is due to take around eight weeks but is dependent on weather conditions over the winter.

The site has planning permission for 311 apartments and associated leisure space and parking.

Cllr Brunel-Walker said: "This is a momentous day for Bracknell Forest and Bracknell town centre's regeneration.

"We've worked really hard with Comer Homes to ensure that this regeneration work takes place as we know its demolition and redevelopment is something our residents have continually cited.

"This is yet another huge step forward in the regeneration of our town centre and I'm sure many residents and visitors will welcome seeing this hideous building being removed from the borough's landscape forever."

Brian Comer said: " We've worked very closely with the council to ensure the best outcome for this site and we're grateful for all the help we received in making this happen.

"We're very pleased that the demolition has started and we're looking forward to a bright future in Bracknell."

Crane starts eating into Winchester House