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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 April 2006, 14:59 GMT 15:59 UK
Chimney blown up for new homes
Chimney collapse
The chimney detonation went without a hitch
A 200ft high chimney has been demolished with explosives to make way for new homes in Aberdeen.

The landmark brick chimney was part of the old Donside Paper Mill site in Tillydrone.

The dramatic demolition signalled the start of a new 50m scheme to bring more affordable housing to Aberdeen.

The 5ft wide chimney destruction on Thursday was part of the overall demolition of the site, paving the way for hundreds of new homes.

The operation saw 25kg of explosives and 50 detonating charges used to bring the chimney down.

A 300m exclusion zone was put into force but no evacuations were necessary.

Chimney collapse
Local people watched as the chimney crashed into the ground

A warning rocket and then a countdown were followed by the explosion and then cheers from dozens of onlookers.

Local councillor Sandra Macdonald pushed the plunger and told the BBC Scotland news website afterwards: "It was thrilling, an amazing experience.

"It was tinged with a little bit of nostalgia but it points the way forward for the area.

"The new development will make Tillydrone a better place to live and work in."

'Wildlife haven'

Controlled Demolition Group (CDG) senior explosives engineer Dick Green said afterwards: "It went extremely well - I would have to give it 10 out of 10."

CDG managing director Darren Palin explained: "The area, which runs alongside the River Don, is a haven for wildlife.

"So we have worked hard to keep noise and dust pollution to a minimum in order to protect nesting birds, mature trees and the river itself, which is popular for salmon fishing."

Sandra Macdonald
The local councillor pushed the plunger and hailed the plans

The paper mill has been standing empty for two years since it closed down with the loss of 250 jobs.

Devanha Housing Partnership is building 365 new low cost homes for the local community at the site.

Lewis Macdonald, Aberdeen Central MSP, said: "I am delighted at the plans for 365 affordable homes and associated community facilities on this site and am pleased that Communities Scotland has funded 11m of the development.

"It is important that affordable housing is built in communities like Tillydrone to enable young people to get a foot on the property ladder."

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