THE street scene at the eastern end of Farnham town centre is changing forever with the rapid, albeit painstakingly precise, demolition of The Woolmead shopping precinct.

Shoppers, neighbouring residents and adjacent business-owners have looked on in awe since demolition of Farnham’s great monument to the 1960s boom got under way on November 13.

In just a month, contractor Wooldridge Demolition has reduced the vast majority of the former shopping precinct to rubble, starting at the eastern end of the island site toward Dogflud Way and proceeding westwards.

Scaffolding and hoardings have been erected to facilitate the demolition work, which is expected to continue until the spring. Subsequent phases will include groundworks and the construction of substructures including a new basement car park, the new four-storey building’s superstructures, internal finishes and external landscaping.

Once the redevelopment is complete, the old building will be replaced by a new mixed-use development including 138 new homes along with approximately 3,700 square metres of retail and commercial space, for which planning permission was granted in October.

Berkeley Homes expects the development to be complete in late 2021.

To minimise impact on the flow of traffic in the town centre and avoid conflict with the neighbouring Brightwells site, all construction traffic will be directed to enter and exit the town via the east and the Six Bells roundabout

A single lane closure has been agreed for Woolmead Road, in case this is required for construction access.

Chris Gilbert, managing director of Berkeley Homes said: “Berkeley is proud to be delivering this prestigious town centre scheme for Farnham, which will form an integral part of the regeneration of this part of the town.”

He added the range of new homes and commercial units will “complement the existing town centre offering”, and that Berkeley has worked closely with local authorities and residents.