A DERELICT building which has been empty for over three years will be transformed into flats for first-time buyers after a London developer purchased the building.
The former Lloyds TSB site, in The Causeway, Durrington, and an adjacent building were due to be transformed into a retail and apartment spaces.
But the tower block has now been sold to developers URB and will be turned into 40 apartments.
Managing director of Michael Jones estate agents Michael Jones said: “It has been sold to a company called URB, which is a south London property developers.
“They have only bought the tower and they have got some really fantastic ideas to convert the tower into superb apartments for first-time buyers.
“It is a really lovely idea and we were really excited to get involved in it.”
The agents have been marketing the property for four months, with the sale completed two weeks ago.
Mr Jones said: “We have had the tower on the books for three or four months and work has already started.
“It was sold just after Christmas but the sale was only completed a couple of weeks ago.”
The adjoining building - permission has been granted for it to be demolished - has been temporarily withdrawn from the market while Michael Jones seeks planning permission for more homes.
Castle ward councillor Dan Humphreys said he was ‘glad’ the building would be used, rather than being empty.
He said: “I am glad that the building is going to be used and not just left derelict.
“I would prefer something a bit more adventurous rather than just converting the inside into apartments.”
He added: “There is a need for housing and I guess it is right next to the train station, so it is a handy place to live.”
The previous project to revamp the buildings was tabled by Cantium Developments.
It had outlined ambitious plans to convert them into 20,000 square feet of retail space and 154 apartments.