An eyesore building targeted by vandals in a County Durham town is set to be demolished. 

The former Kelly’s Bakery in Annfield Plain, near Stanley, has stood empty and being blighted by anti-social behaviour since 2017.

In the six years since its closure as a storage facility, its condition has deteriorated significantly.

Following approval of a planning application, Durham County Council will next week begin work to knock down the building and clear the site.The Northern Echo: Former Kelly's Bakery in Annfield Plain

The demolition will make way for a new, free to use car park, which will provide a much-needed facility for residents visiting local shops and dropping off school children.

The redevelopment of the site forms part of the council’s Towns and Villages programme, an important part of the council’s regeneration strategy and aims to ensure the money the local authority spends and the services it provides deliver the best possible outcomes for communities across County Durham.

Following its closure as a bakery in 1971, the property was used by the Beamish Museum as a storage facility for artefacts until its final closure in 2017 due to its deteriorating condition.

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Cllr James Rowlandson, the council’s Cabinet member for Resources, Investment and Assets, said: “The building is in a very poor state of repair and continues to deteriorate. Its condition and complicated internal layout mean that it could not be converted to another use without considerable redesign and investment.

“It is also not financially viable to bring the building up to an appropriate environmental standard. We have, therefore, opted to demolish the structure and use the opportunity to create additional parking for the community.”

Works to the car park are expected to commence on the cleared site in March 2024.