Work began to tear down a notoriously unstable old factory building in Moray this week.
Since January, the former Fleming’s Sawmill, located opposite Elgin Auction Mart, has been left derelict.
Plans were submitted in 2009 to build a £20 million retail park at the Linkwood Road site, but they were rejected by Moray Council with the developers going into administration shortly after.
Robertson Homes subsequently bought the plot and, following a decision to clear the site in July, began demolition work on Monday.
A spokeswoman for Robertson Homes said: “We have begun demolition at the sawmill buildings at Linkwood Road, which involves removing the roof and taking down the walls.
“Although the site is safe, we want to ensure there is no potential for any further damage in the coming winter.
“That’s why we’re demolishing the building, and tidying up the site to reduce any risk and make the area more attractive.
“There are no fixed plans for the site at this time, but it will be advertised as suitable for development.”
The home of Ken and Mary Allan neighbours the site, and they had to be evacuated on Christmas Eve last year after a section of the building collapsed.
Speaking yesterday, Mrs Allan said she welcomed the long-awaited redevelopment.
She said: “We are just happy it’s coming down.
“Give Robertson’s their due, they have kept us informed with letters and dates about what’s happening.”
“A few developers have submitted plans to redevelop it over the years, but nothing ever came of it.
“But, anything is better than that. It blocks light coming into our house, so it will open it up at the back.
“It will make us more exposed, but you can’t have everything.”
Elgin City South Councillor John Divers said: “It’s a good decision. It’s been an ongoing saga, and something I was pushing for years ago.
“It’s been a total eyesore since it stopped being a sawmill, and the sooner it comes down and the area gets tidied up the better.”