Progress update

People familiar with the Sheer House site in West Byfleet will know that it is due for demolition ahead of the regeneration of the entire site. We are pleased to confirm an important step forward in this process.Retirement Villages Group can now confirm the demolition contractor will start pre-demolition works on site this month, with preparations beginning next week.

The work will be undertaken by Squibb Group Limited, a leading demolition contractor, specialising in precision demolition.Initially Squibb Group will carry out further site surveys and inspections of all the buildings as well as setting up site offices and equipment. All on-site operational procedures and the set-up of offices and amenities will be designed to follow the government’s and Public Health England’s guidelines for Covid-19. Specifically, as a member of the construction sector, Squibb Group Limited is guided by the Construction Leadership Council’s standard operating procedures, which follow the advice of the authorities.

Operations, beginning with Sheer House and the low-level retail units, will start to remove any hazardous materials, such as asbestos. The public library and the public toilets will not be included in this initial phase of the work. These will remain available to the public for as long as possible. As previously confirmed, the project team is liaising with Woking Borough Council and Surrey County Council’s Library Services to explore options for temporary library premises.The public car park will also remain accessible. On occasion, some parking spaces may be unavailable for public use. Clear notice will be given of any temporary closures, the duration of which will be as short as possible. As with the library, the project team is liaising with councillors to explore options for alternative public parking arrangements once the public car park at Sheer House is closed off.

Looking ahead, Squibb Group Limited plan to erect a significant amount of protective scaffolding. Most of this will be erected within the site but a small quantity will need to be erected on some surrounding pavements. All of this will be done to comply with the regulations, licencing requirements and, most importantly, health and safety standards. Safety is always our priority.As we discussed at the public Zoom events, overall, clearing the site is expected to take 30 weeks.

This includes the initial pre-demolition activities.We expect to have more details next week and we will be able to answer any questions. In the meantime, Squibb Group Limited has issued a letter with additional information and contact details.We will continue to work with the West Byfleet Community Liaison Group and other stakeholders to make sure that people are kept up to date with the demolition programme and to respond to any queries. Our email newsletter will provide details of the work involved and news of any potential disruptions. If you have not already signed up, please visit www.sheerhouseredevelopment.co.uk to register.This news marks an important milestone and reflects Retirement Villages Group’s commitment to bringing about the long-awaited regeneration of this central location in West Byfleet.

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