Demolition – The Co-Op Store in Dartford, Kent

Client : Dartford Borough Council
Value : £1.3 M


Duration: 36 Weeks
The Co-operative building was situated in the middle of Dartford town centre, the surrounding environment was predominantly retail shopping with residential properties above, the whole site being surrounded by constantly busy roads serving the whole shopping area.

Over the last 50 years the existing structure had been altered and extended to suit the store requirements, however since the site had been empty for a number of years it had consequently fallen into disrepair with some areas of the building being classified as dangerous structures.

The front section of the site fell within the towns conservation area and the existing façade was required to be retained to its full height. The site had been empty for a number of years and consequently fell into disrepair with some areas of the building being classified as “dangerous structures”. The adjacent highways surrounding the site were constantly busy as they

Scope of Works

  • Entire perimeter secured with hoarding to restrict access to squatters and vagrants that had been entering the building.
  • The client had undertaken a full RDS asbestos survey to the existing structures, the survey highlighted extensive Asbestos Containing Materials throughout the older sections of the structure.
  • With the site secure and the RDS survey in hand our team undertook a full environmental sweep of the buildings to remove all sharp objects and guano from the working areas.
  • To provide protection to the external environment we erected a full independent scaffold to all external elevations of the structure, which was clad with Monarflex  sheeting to encapsulate our works.
  • Our in-house Environmental Division worked with the demolition team to devise a sequence of asbestos removal allowing demolition to progress in areas cleared and certified.
  • To maintain the programme we increased our asbestos resources to 25 asbestos operatives, this ensured the Environmental team kept well ahead of all demolition operations.
  • Whilst the asbestos removal and demolition works were being carried out, our Cad design team produced full façade retention drawings for the rear of the structures which included a cladding system to protect the rear elevation of the façade, this system was designed to have a 10 year life expectancy.
  • The low level structures at the rear of the site were demolished using long reach machinery, all of which were fitted with full dust suppression sprays.
  • The demolition of the high level Co Op structure was undertaken with mini machines working on a floor by floor basis.
  • Hand demolition techniques were used on the party wall and retained façade elevation.


  • The extensive asbestos removal, sequenced with the demolition process was carried out and completed on time and within budget, with no complaints from the residents or adjacent businesses.