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Tough council bunker brought under control

CONTROLLED Demolition Group has reduced Hampstead borough council's bomb- proof bunker to rubble 50 years after it survived the Luftwaffe in World War II.

The demolition operation is the first stage in the creation of an £8 million 'Fame'-style performing arts centre, which is funded by £6.3 million of Lottery money. Construction is due to begin in January 1998.

The 0.9-m-thick concrete walls and 1.5-m-thick bunker roof were demolished in 10 weeks under controlled conditions, with acoustic boards erected around the site to reduce noise.

The bunker originally had its own filtration equipment to protect occupants from poisonous gases.