A STATE of the art office block built on the former Met Office site could be knocked down without ever housing a tenant.

In 1962 Beaufort Park on South Road became the national weather service's head office.

Time was called on Bracknell's reign as the country's spiritual climatological centre in 2002 however, when 1,110 staff upped sticks, the majority destined for the Met Office's new £150m HQ in Sowton, Devon.

Six years later Fenchurch Estates Ltd was granted permission to flatten the site and build an enormous office in its place, complete with ornamental pond, glass front and swirling outer staircase.

On its website, the office block is described as "no business park but a wonderful, private, and unique place to work with 50,000 sq ft of accommodation, space to breathe, generous car parking and room to expand up to 86,000 sq ft.

"The office space provides ultimate flexibility for premium open-plan or cellular offices, together with energy efficient technologies that make the carbon emissions of this building 52 per cent lower than current building regulation requirements."

Unfortunately for the property company not a single tenant could be found to fill the modern building, which cost £17m or £18m to build according to David Austin of Hodge Bank, which now owns the office.

Now, eight years after builders left the site, plans have been submitted to Bracknell Forest Council to knock down the office and build houses in its place.

Mr Austin said: "We have had numerous people look at it, but there has been an awful lot of office space available in Bracknell.

"We have had near misses and close calls but no business has come forward. 

"There is a considerable cost of of running this building. It is a significant financial burden. In the seven figures yearly to keep it running.

"It is not great. It has cost us a lot of money over the years."

With time finally called on the project, BFC must now consider a proposal to demolish the office block and build 68 homes in its place.

Of those, which will be a mix of one, two, three and four bedroom dwellings, just under 10 per cent are proposed to be affordable housing.