WORK to knock down a run-down Southampton shopping parade has begun.

Builders have moved on site to start the demolition of Weston Lane Shopping Parade.

Within two years, the 1960s buildings will be replaced with a new housing and shops development.

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It will also provide a new library and community space, more than twice the size of the previous library on the site.

As previously reported by the Daily Echo, plans to knock down the dilapidated parade were announced last year.

City council bosses approved the plan put forward by French giant Bouygues Development, which will see 70 new homes created.

They will be divided between 40 apartments for private sale, and 30 affordable flats will be managed by Spectrum Housing.

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There will also be a new home for the Co-Op which had previously been part of the parade, two other retail units and 98 car parking spaces.

The council has put £600,000 of funding into the project, while the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has ploughed in £844,000.

Builders from contractor Hughes and Salvidge started work on the site yesterday, and will strip out the parade over the next two weeks.

Then demolition work will begin in earnest, and construction work is set to begin in the spring.

Bouygues says the new development will be complete by the summer of 2015.

Throughout the work, hand-painted hoarding boards created by the Weston Church Youth Project will be put up around the site.

While work takes place at the site, Weston Library will be temporarily housed in Chamberlayne Leisure Centre.