THIS aerial picture shows all that is left of Blackburn’s Royal Infirmary.

Bulldozers have moved in on the former Victorian hospital, which has been empty since the opening of the new £113million Royal Blackburn Hospital at Queen’s Park last year.

Barratt Homes has been given planning permission for a 253-home housing scheme – and the hospital buildings, which date back to 1865, have to make way.

Only the landmark Edwardian War memorial building, overlooking Bolton Road, will escape the demolition.

The aerial picture was taken by Lancashire Telegraph reader Franco Sanna.

Ward councillor Maureen Bateson said: “It seems to be coming down very quickly – I thought it would be a long and laborious process.

“Lots of people have talked about their sadness at losing the building, but at the same time they are glad the frontage is being retained.

“At the same time, we are anticipating new developments and major change in the area.

“But there are lots of people with memories of the building. It’s like watching history disappear before your eyes.”

Meanwhile, bosses at Barratt Homes have insisted the development will not be affected by the problems facing the property market.

Last month the firm announced 1,200 job cuts because of a massive downturn in demand for new homes.

But Andrew Taylor, of David Wilson Homes North West, part of Barratt Homes, said: “The planning consent will be implemented in the near future and will culminate in a development which will deliver a wide range of homes for buyers looking to live in the area, including two bedroom apartments and two, three and four bedroom homes.”