Work re-starts on tower six years on

City Reach Building in Barnsley which is finally nearing completion
City Reach Building in Barnsley which is finally nearing completion
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An eyesore apartment block in Barnsley which loomed unfinished over the town for six years is set for completion in September after being snapped up by new owners.

City Reach on Burleigh Street will have 102 one and two-bed apartments - and a three-bed penthouse - following a £2m investment by Superior Living of Manchester.

Unfinished flats project on Burleigh Street in Barnsley where work should commence next week

Unfinished flats project on Burleigh Street in Barnsley where work should commence next week

It was originally valued at £11m - finished - but work ground to a halt when the recession hit.

It was sold at auction for £375,000 in 2013.

Architect Paul Jackson, of Make Architects in Liverpool, said they had spent £100,000 cleaning up the site - including £20,000 on removing an abandoned crane which had become unsafe. It was also a haunt for drug users and flytippers, he added.

“It’s a huge relief for all concerned. The planners have approved the cladding and there are no planning issues.

“The apartments were marketed in January and a third of them are spoken for already - I’m even going to keep a couple for myself.”

The tower will be finished in a pale green and grey, he added.

The work comes as Barnsley Council pushes ahead with £41m plans to redevelop the town centre after a scheme had been on hold for a decade.

The authority said taking over the project would end uncertainty for businesses and market traders.

Its Better Barnsley town centre development scheme includes a central public square, refurbished and extended Metropolitan Centre, new library, new central car park, and a series of sites for development.

It is set to start with new parking in November this year with work on a new town square in October 2016. A revamped Metropolitan Centre and market hall is set to follow in early 2017.

A new £4m central library is also expected in 2017.

Designed to be the beacon of the town, it is set to have a transparent glazed skin that emits light to illuminate the new public square while being energy efficient. It will have IT facilities and a ‘useable’ roof.