RESIDENTS and staff at a Salisbury care home donned hard hats and high-vis jackets for a first-hand view of the building next door being demolished.

Behind a safety barrier but still close to the operations, residents from Braemar Lodge in Stratford Road watched as teams with diggers and other heavy machinery began to break the structure down.

The demolition and clearance of the long-vacant Stratford Court, a former charity-run care home, will pave the way for plans by Braemar Lodge owner Colten Care to redevelop the site for its 22nd home.

Once that is open in summer 2022, Braemar Lodge residents will be able to live in it while Braemar itself undergoes a full refurbishment.

Among those watching the demolition were residents Dora Williams, Betty Winter and Dennis Johnson.

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Afterwards, Dennis said: "It was all very good fun. I am surprised how quietly it has been done."

Dora added: “I am astonished about the amount of work they have achieved in a short amount of time. "It’s so quiet. I haven’t heard a thing from my room.

"I’m very interested in building work as my father was an architect."

Betty said: "I can’t wait to see the new building progress. It will look amazing when it’s finished."

The demolition has been carried out by contractor Comley Demolition ahead of the start of building work by Colten Developments.

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Mark Aitchison, Colten Group chief executive, said: "We aim to build a new state-of-the-art care home with 50 beds to support the Salisbury community.

"Along with Braemar Lodge, it will deliver outstanding care in facilities second to none.

"This is a major investment by us in Salisbury, one that will ultimately create new jobs and business for the city."