PART of Huntingdonshire District Council s crumbling Pathfinder House headquarters will be spectacularly demolished next Monday afternoon. The public will be kept at a discreet distance for health and safety reasons while a huge hydraulic gobbler sees o
PART of Huntingdonshire District Council's crumbling Pathfinder House headquarters will be spectacularly demolished next Monday afternoon.
The public will be kept at a discreet distance for health and safety reasons while a huge hydraulic "gobbler" sees off the south wing of the 1970s building as part of a £16million replacement project.
Pathfinder House, built as a speculative office development in the early 1970s, was taken over by the council after HDC was created by the Local Government Act 1972. The reinforced concrete building has been encased in scaffolding for some years to keep it going. It is so unattractive that, even though the council has to pay for hiring the metalwork, it is funded by a saving of £170,000 a year in business rates.
The Huntingdonshire road sign over the canopy at the entrance to Pathfinder House will be removed and taken away for safe keeping until the new offices are completed.
The building is being replaced by three blocks, two of offices and one, if the council gets planning consent, of flats.
HDC had originally intended all three to be offices, with nearby Castle Hill House converted to residential use. But English Heritage would not agree to the conversion plans, so the Grade II* listed structure will remain as HDC office space for the time being.
The new HQ is part of a scheme costing £23million to replace both Pathfinder House and the council's depot. A £6.4million component of that, the new depot in Latham Road, off the A141 in north-west Huntingdon, opened in September as a base not just for the fleet of refuse vehicles, sweepers, vans and mowers, but the council's CCTV monitoring unit, mail, print facilities and other departments.