Work will begin on the demolition of the old secondary school at Carn Thomas next week.

The Council were advised to knock the building down by the Homes and Communities Agency, the government body tasked with funding affordable housing.

Senior Manager for Economic Development Diana Mompoloki said: “When we put the extra care bid in for housing for older residents, we weren’t successful because the cost per unit was too high.

“Part of the issue was the cost of demolition because nobody knows what’s underneath the site, which means that you can’t cost it accurately so you have to put in a contingency of 40%-50%.

"By making the site as safe as possible we can get cost certainty on housing development, which will make it a much more attractive proposition to a housing association or social housing provider.

"That’s why the HCA suggested we knock it down – and why we could use the housing pot of money for the demolition because it delivers affordable housing.”

Diana explained that there is currently no money available for affordable homes through the government so they can only be delivered as a percentage of open market homes in a new development.

By providing the land free of charge to a developer it is hoped the Council can negotiate a much higher than usual proportion of affordable homes.

“We will be looking to find a sympathetic developer who will deliver as much affordable housing as we can possibly get.”

The work will be carried out by Bristol-based demolition and asbestos removal specialists Wring Group, following a tender process where eight bids were received.

The company states on its website that it aims to recycle 80% of the materials from any project it is working on and it is hoped it will salvage as much aggregate and granite from the demolition to use on the future building on the site.

Diana also revealed that the parquet flooring inside the old school has already saved £10,000 from the demolition cost because the contractors intend to salvage it.

The demolition is expected to be complete before the start of the next tourist season.

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