The ‘surgical de-construction’ of Chester’s Commerce House had been completed – ten weeks ahead of schedule.

And today (Wednesday) Faye Mustill, chairman of the King Street Area Residents’ Association paid tribute to the way in which the council and contractors had managed the demolition ‘challenge’.

In a letter to Chief Executive Steve Robinson, Mrs Mustill praises the dedication of council officers who kept residents informed throughout and contractors, Vale Park Demolition Services, for showing every possible consideration to residents.

As a next door neighbour to the project she also praises the very considerable degree of skill and expertise employed to manoeuvre heavy plant in a confined area sandwiched between a residential area and bus station.

Says the association chairman: “Yes, there has been a bit of dust and some noise – it was a demolition site after all – and there was the odd hiccup as would be expected in an operation of this complexity.

“These have been efficiently accommodated between the project manager and the contractors to the satisfaction of most residents.”

And she adds: “If the building of the theatre complex and other demolition and building works in the Northgate areas are conducted with the same professionalism and skill, residents in the areas affected will have little cause for complaint.”

The Manchester-based demolition specialists moved on site in October, to remove Chester’s third tallest building ‘floor by floor, piece by piece, brick by brick’ as part of site preparations for the new theatre.

Demolition consent was required from the DCLG for the eight-floor Sixties eyesore which stood at the heart of Chester’s Central conservation area

Project Theatre Director Graham Lister said today: “We have really done everything possible to keep our residents informed and advised at every stage of the project and I am delighted that our efforts have been appreciated.

“This was always going to be a highly disciplined operation because of the very close proximity of homes to Commerce House with our major aim to mitigate the effects on residents and the environment.

“Whilst finishing ten weeks ahead of schedule is a wonderful achievement I would like to thank residents for their understanding and our contractors for their expertise.”

The Commerce House site will become the location for the 800-seat theatre’s auditorium, orchestra pit and back stage facilities.

It is anticipated that the Manchester-based firm of demolition specialists will have finished on site by the end of the week.