Could the end be in sight for one of Wigan’s most dangerous buildings?
Council bosses have issued an ultimatum to the owners of the blaze-hit Pagefield mill site which lies alongside Mesnes Park, to demolish a “dangerous” building - or they may do it themselves.
If the foreign-based owners do not comply with the council’s request, which has the backing of both the police and fire authorities, they could go ahead with the demolition and seek to recover the costs afterwards.
Mike Worden, assistant director for planning and transport for the council, said: “The owners of Pagefield Mill have now agreed to put new and more secure fencing around the site and have assured us this will be carried out soon, with the addition of a security presence on site.
“We have also requested that the owners demolish one of the fire-damaged buildings that is now in a dangerous condition. However the council does have powers to move this process forward if the owner is not prepared to do this work themselves.
“We are currently in the process of writing to local residents to make them aware of our intentions and highlighting the dangerous state of the site.”
The former mill and college building has fallen into a state of disrepair.
Several fires have been started there since 2009, with five in just nine days recently.
There are concerns that someone could be hurt there, but warnings not to go into the building continue to be ignored and local residents believe it is only a matter of time before someone is seriousl injured ior even killed.
This week pictures emerged showing young teenagers at the top of the mill’s tower and isnide the delapidated building.
Coun George Davies, who represents Wigan Central, has been working with the police and council to secure the site amid.
He said: “We have got to give the owners the opportunity to carry out these works. It belongs to them - it’s a privately-owned building - and I’m hoping that with all that has gone on, the owners have got to take responsibility.
“I’m with the residents who are coming out every day to say it will take possibly millions to get this up and running again, whoever buys it, and so I think the owner should work with the council to get it demolished.”
He also welcomed plans for the council to write to residents of Kenyon Road and Walkden Avenue about the situation.
Coun Davies said: “I’m delighted that the letter to the residents is now in hand. It’s very important because we have got back gardens and other buildings nearby and if there is another major fire, like the time when 18 fire engines appeared, then it can spread to our residents who live nearby. At this incident smoke went towards residents’ windows and doors. They do need to know what’s going on.”