THE cost of demolishing of an eyesore former nightclub in Greenock town centre is set to double.

Fed up council bosses recently stepped in and purchased the former Babylon building - which has been lying empty for over ten years - so that they could bulldoze it and pave the way for 25 new flats to be built.

Earlier this month it was revealed that it would cost in the region of £200,000 to clear the corner site on West Stewart Street and Argyle Street.

But that bill has now soared to £400,000, as officials say there is no safe access to the Argyle Street premises and there will be a complicated legal procedure to follow.

In a report, council director Stuart Jamieson said: "The estimated cost of the demolition is £400,000, subject to a competitive tender, which reflects the difficult nature of the demolition and risks outlined."

At an upcoming environment and regeneration meeting councillors will be told that there will need to be partial and short term closures of town centre roads to enable the demolition to take place.

Crews will also require access to neighbouring land, with a legal process to establish all owners and seek permission now under way.

The purchase of the nightclub was finally completed in February.

It formerly belonged to the Greenock-based WBI Group, which also owns Word Up.

Environment and regeneration bosses say no building survey or historical information was provided or available.

Initial work through their technical services team established that the condition of the building is such that it is 'not possible' to safely access and complete any detailed pre-demolition asbestos or other surveys.

The disconnection of services to the building is being progressed.

The council says that due to the inability to carry out surveys, the cost of asbestos removal will not be established before the demolition contract is awarded.

Once the building is flattened the ground will be fenced off and soil and seeding work will take place until such time as development work can take place.