The final farewell before the building is prepared for demolition, was shared with the Hickey Family who have fond memories of the place.
The Hickey family reached out to Torbay Council in late 2022 to request treasured items belonging to them be returned before the building disappears forever.
Following the request Council officers worked to retrieve the items and facilitate a request from the local media to step into Crossways for one final look around.
Whilst on site the Hickey Family, said; “Sean Hickey was a local man who supported the Torbay economy through his various photographic businesses – one of those was his shop at No.2 Crossways. As a family, in late 2022 we visited his old shop and to our surprise discovered that some of the original signage was still in place. After knowing this, we put a request in to Torbay Council to salvage as much of the shop signage as possible. Sean passed away in 2017 and having a piece of him back is a great comfort to us and his legacy. Thank you to Torbay Council for making this happen for us.”
With safety hoarding in place around the site, and asbestos surveys already undertaken, a demolition contractor is due to start removing a significant amount of asbestos over the coming weeks. Once internal demolition works have been completed, Paignton residents will finally start to see the building come down.
Several benches that were in place on site, are being reclaimed and will be repurposed around Paignton harbour.
Planning permission has already been granted for the site to provide approximately 90 extra care and sheltered housing units with commercial space on the ground floor for businesses. Torbay Council’s wholly owned company TorVista Homes Limited will own the homes once they are complete. The homes will be available as affordable housing for local residents.
Cllr Darren Cowell, Deputy Leader of Torbay Council, said; “Having met the Hickey Family whose father started the photographic shop at the top end of Crossways by Torquay Road and hearing about the family history, actually brings to a close a chapter of the Crossways story. Of course, the next significant chapter is when we start the actual demolition, having appointed the contractors to commence the final demolition of what has been Paignton’s eyesore for far too long”.
Cllr Swithin Long, Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Tourism and Housing for Torbay Council, said; “Visiting the site for one final time before demolition commences, really signifies that the end is in sight after an incredibly complex process of securing the compulsory purchase of the building. Over many months council officers have been working through challenges in the construction sector to get this project moving forward, which upon completion will provide high quality suitable homes for local people that meet their specific care and support needs.”
Torbay residents are reminded that hoarding is in place for safety reasons as demolition and construction works get underway. Some of the work that happens before buildings come down includes the removal of harmful substances such as asbestos. Sites with hoarding are regularly monitored by CCTV and visited by security patrols. For your own safety, do not attempt to enter any sites and buildings where safety hoarding is in place. If you see anyone attempting to enter sites to causing damage to the hoarding, please report to the police.
Stay up to date with this project and other regeneration projects happening across Torbay by signing up to the regeneration project newsletters: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKTORBAYCOUNCIL/subscriber/new
Discover more about regeneration projects across Torbay by visiting: www.torbay.gov.uk/spacestothrive
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