TWO landmark office blocks are set to be demolished under ambitious multi-million pound plans to regenerate a Basingstoke business area.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council is considering the radical action in order to improve the image of Basing View.

If it goes ahead, the buildings – Loddon House and City Wall House – could be gone by 2011.

The blocks, each about 70,000 sq ft in size, were built in 1975 and are seen as holding key strategic positions due to their prominent location.

Councillor James Lewin, Cabinet member for finance, property and performance, told the Gazette he is keen for the demolition to get the go-ahead from borough councillors. He said: “There are at least two buildings that are beyond refurbishment.

“They have got to be torn down so we can start from scratch.”

Members of the council’s economic prosperity and performance overview and scrutiny committee backed demolition at their meeting last week.

Councillor Sean Keating said: “It’s essential derelict buildings are decimated as soon as possible to ensure they do not tarnish the image of the borough.”

In a report for the committee, Strategic Project Manager Simon Hope wrote: “The image of the area is tainted by buildings such as City Wall House and more particularly Loddon House, which are highly symbolic of the pressing need for regeneration.

“The presence of these two buildings poses a significant barrier to attracting new investment in the area.”

City Wall House is owned by the borough council and has been largely vacant for 12 years.

The report said the borough is in negotiations with the leaseholder of Loddon House and officers have also held discussions with the leaseholder of nearby Scott House.

The report estimated work could begin early next year and would take 12 months.

The borough has earmarked £6.8m for the regeneration, which is expected to take between 15 to 20 years.

It is currently consulting the public on proposals for new signage, planting and other measures to improve Basing View’s appearance. The consultation ends on June 30.

Members of the committee did, however, react with concern over proposals to remove Eastrop Roundabout as part of the regeneration.

Councillor Mark Ruffell said: “The case for getting rid of Eastrop Roundabout has got to be very compelling and so people get to the station just as quickly as they do now.”

The committee’s views will be considered by the Basing View Executive Committee tomorrow.

Full council will make a decision on the buildings’ future at its July meeting.