Demolition of Devon mall begins to make way for housing

Machines have moved in at Crossway in Paignton Credit: LDRS

Machines have begun tearing down Paignton’s town centre shopping mall, built in the 1960s.

Crossways was a state-of-the-art under-cover shopping centre when it first opened more than half a century ago.

But in recent years it became neglected as its businesses closed down or moved out.

It had become a haven for drink and drug use and anti-social behaviour.

New housing will be built in its place Credit: LDRS

By the time it was finally closed last year it had become completely derelict, apart from one cafe which had held out to the end.

The cafe – Mo’s Grill – has since moved to a busy location elsewhere in the town centre.

Torbay Council took over the site and finally gained planning permission in February 2020 to redevelop it after years of wrangling with its former owners.

Eventually it will re-emerge as around 90 extra care and sheltered housing units with commercial space on the ground floor for businesses.

The redevelopment will be carried out by TorVista Homes, a company wholly owned by the council.

The aim, says the council, is to provide much-needed housing for local people and rejuvenate the area.

Credit: LDRS

The new set-up will, it hopes, attract businesses back into the town.

Demolition work – in the hands of local firm Gilpins – started last year when the site was fenced off and hazardous material including asbestos was removed.

Now heavy machinery has moved on to the site to begin pulling down the building itself.

The work is expected to take several months, but the concrete canopy over the Hyde Road pavement has already gone, along with some of the shop units at the bottom end of the site.

  • Credit: Guy Henderson, LDRS