Bulldozers move in on eyesore Albrighton hotel
Going, going... demolition work is well underway on an eyesore former hotel which is being flattened to make way for seven new homes.
The Lea Manor Hotel in Albrighton had become a magnet for crime with arsonists and vandals striking after it closed its doors more than a decade ago.
But it is now about to disappear for good as the bulldozers moved on to the site this week and began demolition.
The site was bought at auction by Wolverhampton-based developers Thomas Mann and Duncan Evans in October last year.
They have formed a new company, Lea Manor Homes, to redevelop the site.
The demolition is expected to be complete within two weeks.
The site will then be completely cleared for the construction of the homes to begin.
Building work is due to start in mid-April, and the scheme should be complete by November.
Mr Mann said: “As the site is on green belt land the seven homes will be constructed in the style of barn conversions to be in keeping with the local area.
“The local community has been calling for this eyesore to be removed for many years now and our plans have been met with much enthusiasm from the local residents.”
Mr Mann said the development would provide much-needed family homes for the village.
The new houses would make the most of the surrounding countryside by featuring large concertina-style doors at the back, he added.
Mr Mann said the scheme would include one two-bedroom, three three-bedroom, and three four-bedroom properties, and would range in price from £250,000 to £400,000.
The Lea Manor Hotel, once famed for its all-night discos, closed in 2007.
In 2010 the site was occupied by travellers, prompting its then owners to dig trenches around it to prevent access.
The following year 32 firefighters were called to deal with an arson attack on the building.
Arsonists struck again in 2012, and there were also reports of the building being used as a drugs den.
Originally called Lea Farm, parts of the site date back to 1882, but it was extensively redeveloped when businessman Bob Eaton turned it into an hotel in 1968.
Mr Eaton kept the hotel, which was a popular disco venue in the 1970s and 80s, until 1986.
In its heyday, it attracted entertainers including Frankie Vaughan and Kathy Kirby to its sell-out dinners and dances.