An explosion in downtown Wheatley on August 26, 2021 brings a building down to rubble  (Screengrab via Chatham-Kent Fire Twitter)An explosion in downtown Wheatley on August 26, 2021 brings a building down to rubble (Screengrab via Chatham-Kent Fire Twitter)

More dilapidated buildings in downtown Wheatley to come down

The demolition of more buildings in downtown Wheatley will begin on Monday.

The Municipality of Chatham-Kent made the announcement on Friday afternoon, adding a demolition contractor will begin demolition of 12, 14, and 20 Erie Street North in Wheatley after the weekend. The work is expected to be finished within two weeks.

"As Wheatley moves toward revitalization, contractors will be on site in the downtown area to move this process forward," said Chatham-Kent Manager of Corporate Communications Eric Labadie.

The municipality noted traffic disruptions are not anticipated during demolition and Erie Street North will remain open.

Residents are being asked by municipal officials to use caution when they're in the area and to stay away from the demolition site.

Downtown Wheatley was rocked by an explosion in August of 2021.

The Municipality of Chatham Kent is in the final stages of preparing a Secondary Land Use Plan and Servicing Strategy for South Wheatley that will promote new land uses in the neighbourhood such as residential, commercial, employment, natural, and public space uses.

The Secondary Plan, called Imagine Wheatley, will align with both the community’s priorities outlined in the CK Plan 2035 and the Council Priorities of Growth, Environmental Sustainability, Community Wellness, and Community Engagement.

"As a historically agricultural area, South Wheatley has the potential to grow and develop," said the municipality. "A land use plan and servicing strategy will encourage the environmental, social, cultural and economic sustainability of the area. The Secondary Plan process will utilize innovative approaches and creative solutions to develop a neighbourhood land use plan for South Wheatley that integrates the community’s vision for the future."

In August, the province committed $11-million in further funding to help Wheatley recover from the blast.

At that time, Chief Administrative Officer Michael Duben said there is an intent to purchase the 13 properties in the evacuation area.

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