SWINDON Council is in negotiations with a developer about the future of the Aspen House site with the demolition of the building and its surrounding structures continuing.
The council bought the vacant 12-storey building, in Temple Street, which once homed Swindon’s register office, last year, with the aim of regenerating that area of the town centre. Due to the poor condition of building it was decided to knock it down.
Coun Garry Perkins, cabinet member for the economy, regeneration and culture, said that a developer had approached the council about working with them to improve the site but wouldn’t reveal their identity.
Coun Perkins said: “A developer spotted that we are knocking down the building and has contacted us to express an interest in working with us. We’d look at the potential possibility of having retail and residential on the site but obviously this is a very early stage, there’s been nothing formally discussed and going forward any proposals would need to receive planning permission.”
Aspen House is expected to be knocked down in the autumn. Originally, the council had planned to turn the area into a temporary park while they found occupants for the site although Coun Perkins said that might not be necessary now.
“Given that one developer has come forward we might well find we have a few others wanting to talk with us about the future of Aspen House,” Coun Perkins said.
“Obviously, we wouldn’t rush the process for the sake of it as we want to find the right development for that part of the town. “We have the new cinema opening in Regent Circus later in the year and it would be good to have something which will compliment that and the increased footfall which will be in the area.”
The public watched as demolition work continued at the Aspen House site yesterday.
Julie Wilson, 35, who was in the town centre with her three-year-old son Phil, said: “I was quite surprised to turn the corner and see that they were knocking it down and I do wonder what will come in and replace it.
“I just hope it’s something that will be a benefit to Swindon and is what the town really needs.”
Aspen House is boarded off with Swindon Council and Wiltshire Police warning the public of the dangers of going on the grounds after several reports of people sneaking into the site.
Anyone who spots people acting suspicious around the site is asked to call the police on 101.