Landmark building in Basildon is set to be demolished

Echo: Phil Rackley outside the Aviva building Phil Rackley outside the Aviva building

A LANDMARK building, which has dominated the Basildon skyline for years, is to be reduced to rubble over the next fewmonths.

Bulldozers have been called in to tear down the majority of the ten-storey Aviva building in the town centre.

The Eastgate Centre, which owns the tower, has decided to cut its losses and get rid of the building after trying to sell it since it became vacant in 2008.

A proposal to turn it into flats was shelved last summer.

The bottom two storeys, which are used by the centre, will remain, but the top eight will go by the summer.

Ian Clark, manager of the Eastgate Centre, said: “The works will be completed by early summer 2014, during which time the Eastgate will be open as normal for shopping.

“The offices are dated and do not meet the needs of modern office occupiers. The ground and first floors are already part of the shopping centre and will remain in use.”

The news is another blow to Basildon’s £1billion masterplan, which proposes to create 25,000 square metres of new office space and 2,000 homes in the town centre over the next two decades.

It follows hot on the heels of South Essex College pushing back the opening date of its town centre campus, following a delay in moving Basildon’s market.

Councillors had said the tenstorey tower could have been a more appropriate building for the college, instead of the plans on the table to build a new campus in Market Square.

Phil Rackley, independent Labour party councillor for St.

Martin’s, said: “I think it is a missed opportunity and a dreadful waste in tearing down what I think is an iconic building.

“I’ve always said the college is far more appropriate going in a building like this rather than on the market site.

“It seems that things are just happening in spurts for the Masterplan, there is nothing being completed.”

The building was built as offices for insurance firm Norwich Union – now Aviva – in 1985 and fully occupied until 1995, with the final tenants moving out in 2008.

Comments (13)

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10:05am Sat 8 Mar 14

Howard Cháse says...

Put the relocation of the college into Trafford House. Another 'iconic' building. A much better site for it thsn in the Toen Centre where the market is. The market then will not have to relocate into the Square in front of St. Martin
Put the relocation of the college into Trafford House. Another 'iconic' building. A much better site for it thsn in the Toen Centre where the market is. The market then will not have to relocate into the Square in front of St. Martin Howard Cháse
  • Score: 11

1:11pm Sat 8 Mar 14

Ladydolphin.mh says...

AS USUAL BASILDON COUNCIL ARE NOT GETTING THEIR FINGER OUT ON THE REGINERISATION SCHEME, ARE THEY GOING TO WAIT UNTIL BASILDON BECOMES A NO GO AREA BEFORE THEY GET THEIR FINGERS OUT.
THE ONLY THINGS THAT ARE OPEN AT NIGHT SEEM TO BE THE GALA BINGO HALL THAT YOU STILL NEED TO PAY FOR PARKING AT NIGHT. THE TOWNGATE THEATRE AND COSMOS CAFE. I DON'T EVEN THINK YOU CAN USE THE TOILETS NEAR THE MARKET AT NIGHT.
WE JUST WANT TO SEE THINGS GET STARTED AND MAKE BASILDON TOWN CENTRE WELCOMING AGAIN!
AS USUAL BASILDON COUNCIL ARE NOT GETTING THEIR FINGER OUT ON THE REGINERISATION SCHEME, ARE THEY GOING TO WAIT UNTIL BASILDON BECOMES A NO GO AREA BEFORE THEY GET THEIR FINGERS OUT. THE ONLY THINGS THAT ARE OPEN AT NIGHT SEEM TO BE THE GALA BINGO HALL THAT YOU STILL NEED TO PAY FOR PARKING AT NIGHT. THE TOWNGATE THEATRE AND COSMOS CAFE. I DON'T EVEN THINK YOU CAN USE THE TOILETS NEAR THE MARKET AT NIGHT. WE JUST WANT TO SEE THINGS GET STARTED AND MAKE BASILDON TOWN CENTRE WELCOMING AGAIN! Ladydolphin.mh
  • Score: 20

8:47pm Sat 8 Mar 14

Mikkel1 says...

When I lived in Laindon, Basildon had Regular evening entertainment with Locarno, Bowling Abbey, then a cinema and all open 7 nights a week.
When I lived in Laindon, Basildon had Regular evening entertainment with Locarno, Bowling Abbey, then a cinema and all open 7 nights a week. Mikkel1
  • Score: 1

8:50pm Sat 8 Mar 14

Mikkel1 says...

The above should have read Bowling Alley.
The above should have read Bowling Alley. Mikkel1
  • Score: 1

9:56am Sun 9 Mar 14

Howard Cháse says...

Mikkel1 wrote:
The above should have read Bowling Alley.
There's a bowling alley up by what used to be The Highway, Sweeney's and the pool club were.

They shipped all the 'nightlife' out to Bas Vegas so now all you get in town centre after dark us tumbleweed and the occasional zombie with his werewolf
[quote][p][bold]Mikkel1[/bold] wrote: The above should have read Bowling Alley.[/p][/quote]There's a bowling alley up by what used to be The Highway, Sweeney's and the pool club were. They shipped all the 'nightlife' out to Bas Vegas so now all you get in town centre after dark us tumbleweed and the occasional zombie with his werewolf Howard Cháse
  • Score: 8

10:24am Sun 9 Mar 14

Gay Ray says...

Howard Cháse wrote:
Mikkel1 wrote:
The above should have read Bowling Alley.
There's a bowling alley up by what used to be The Highway, Sweeney's and the pool club were.

They shipped all the 'nightlife' out to Bas Vegas so now all you get in town centre after dark us tumbleweed and the occasional zombie with his werewolf
I take it you speak from experience, Howard?
[quote][p][bold]Howard Cháse[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mikkel1[/bold] wrote: The above should have read Bowling Alley.[/p][/quote]There's a bowling alley up by what used to be The Highway, Sweeney's and the pool club were. They shipped all the 'nightlife' out to Bas Vegas so now all you get in town centre after dark us tumbleweed and the occasional zombie with his werewolf[/p][/quote]I take it you speak from experience, Howard? Gay Ray
  • Score: 0

12:10pm Sun 9 Mar 14

Howard Cháse says...

Gay Ray wrote:
Howard Cháse wrote:
Mikkel1 wrote:
The above should have read Bowling Alley.
There's a bowling alley up by what used to be The Highway, Sweeney's and the pool club were.

They shipped all the 'nightlife' out to Bas Vegas so now all you get in town centre after dark us tumbleweed and the occasional zombie with his werewolf
I take it you speak from experience, Howard?
I've walked through the city of the dead at night on occasion yes.
[quote][p][bold]Gay Ray[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Howard Cháse[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mikkel1[/bold] wrote: The above should have read Bowling Alley.[/p][/quote]There's a bowling alley up by what used to be The Highway, Sweeney's and the pool club were. They shipped all the 'nightlife' out to Bas Vegas so now all you get in town centre after dark us tumbleweed and the occasional zombie with his werewolf[/p][/quote]I take it you speak from experience, Howard?[/p][/quote]I've walked through the city of the dead at night on occasion yes. Howard Cháse
  • Score: 1

1:12pm Sun 9 Mar 14

beejiu says...

It's really not a blow to the regeneration plan. The plan recognises the diminished demand for office space in Basildon, so development of more office space is one of the last items in the plan -- it probably won't be here before 2030. The suggestion is that improved leisure and transport facilities, as well as more residential area close/in the town will improve the demand for office space. As we enter the Knowledge Revolution, the demand for office space will only increase. Hopefully the regeneration will make Basildon a more attractive area to set-up offices in.
It's really not a blow to the regeneration plan. The plan recognises the diminished demand for office space in Basildon, so development of more office space is one of the last items in the plan -- it probably won't be here before 2030. The suggestion is that improved leisure and transport facilities, as well as more residential area close/in the town will improve the demand for office space. As we enter the Knowledge Revolution, the demand for office space will only increase. Hopefully the regeneration will make Basildon a more attractive area to set-up offices in. beejiu
  • Score: -1

3:21pm Sun 9 Mar 14

Kim Gandy says...

Ladydolphin.mh wrote:
AS USUAL BASILDON COUNCIL ARE NOT GETTING THEIR FINGER OUT ON THE REGINERISATION SCHEME, ARE THEY GOING TO WAIT UNTIL BASILDON BECOMES A NO GO AREA BEFORE THEY GET THEIR FINGERS OUT.
THE ONLY THINGS THAT ARE OPEN AT NIGHT SEEM TO BE THE GALA BINGO HALL THAT YOU STILL NEED TO PAY FOR PARKING AT NIGHT. THE TOWNGATE THEATRE AND COSMOS CAFE. I DON'T EVEN THINK YOU CAN USE THE TOILETS NEAR THE MARKET AT NIGHT.
WE JUST WANT TO SEE THINGS GET STARTED AND MAKE BASILDON TOWN CENTRE WELCOMING AGAIN!
Speak to your local councillors, get involved, attend meetings, protest.

The council is made up of the three main party groups and some UKIP. If you feel strongly, stand for election, you could stand as an independent.

Nobody takes any notice of what you say on here, except a handful of decent people who think the same - and a lot of ill assorted idiots.
[quote][p][bold]Ladydolphin.mh[/bold] wrote: AS USUAL BASILDON COUNCIL ARE NOT GETTING THEIR FINGER OUT ON THE REGINERISATION SCHEME, ARE THEY GOING TO WAIT UNTIL BASILDON BECOMES A NO GO AREA BEFORE THEY GET THEIR FINGERS OUT. THE ONLY THINGS THAT ARE OPEN AT NIGHT SEEM TO BE THE GALA BINGO HALL THAT YOU STILL NEED TO PAY FOR PARKING AT NIGHT. THE TOWNGATE THEATRE AND COSMOS CAFE. I DON'T EVEN THINK YOU CAN USE THE TOILETS NEAR THE MARKET AT NIGHT. WE JUST WANT TO SEE THINGS GET STARTED AND MAKE BASILDON TOWN CENTRE WELCOMING AGAIN![/p][/quote]Speak to your local councillors, get involved, attend meetings, protest. The council is made up of the three main party groups and some UKIP. If you feel strongly, stand for election, you could stand as an independent. Nobody takes any notice of what you say on here, except a handful of decent people who think the same - and a lot of ill assorted idiots. Kim Gandy
  • Score: 1

3:22pm Sun 9 Mar 14

Kim Gandy says...

Gay Ray wrote:
Howard Cháse wrote:
Mikkel1 wrote:
The above should have read Bowling Alley.
There's a bowling alley up by what used to be The Highway, Sweeney's and the pool club were.

They shipped all the 'nightlife' out to Bas Vegas so now all you get in town centre after dark us tumbleweed and the occasional zombie with his werewolf
I take it you speak from experience, Howard?
I like the Zombie and werewolf analogy.

Brilliant!
[quote][p][bold]Gay Ray[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Howard Cháse[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mikkel1[/bold] wrote: The above should have read Bowling Alley.[/p][/quote]There's a bowling alley up by what used to be The Highway, Sweeney's and the pool club were. They shipped all the 'nightlife' out to Bas Vegas so now all you get in town centre after dark us tumbleweed and the occasional zombie with his werewolf[/p][/quote]I take it you speak from experience, Howard?[/p][/quote]I like the Zombie and werewolf analogy. Brilliant! Kim Gandy
  • Score: 5

11:19pm Mon 10 Mar 14

spectator says...

If the new plans are as successful as the Eastgate Mall has been (never had all the units occupied at any one time over approx. 28 yrs.) then god help us all!
If the new plans are as successful as the Eastgate Mall has been (never had all the units occupied at any one time over approx. 28 yrs.) then god help us all! spectator
  • Score: 0

10:04am Tue 11 Mar 14

Howard Cháse says...

spectator wrote:
If the new plans are as successful as the Eastgate Mall has been (never had all the units occupied at any one time over approx. 28 yrs.) then god help us all!
Westgate hasn't fared much better either.
[quote][p][bold]spectator[/bold] wrote: If the new plans are as successful as the Eastgate Mall has been (never had all the units occupied at any one time over approx. 28 yrs.) then god help us all![/p][/quote]Westgate hasn't fared much better either. Howard Cháse
  • Score: 0

9:39pm Tue 11 Mar 14

jameskerin says...

Whats the big issue. A building being demolished. Big deal. People will moan about anything
Whats the big issue. A building being demolished. Big deal. People will moan about anything jameskerin
  • Score: 0

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