Wigan shop owner slams council demolition

A devastated Wigan business owner, who has traded in the same spot for nearly 20 years, has said that the demolition of an unsafe neighbouring building could cost him thousands of pounds.

Tuesday, 1st May 2018, 11:31 am
Updated Tuesday, 1st May 2018, 1:16 pm
Mark Thompson, owner of Alpha Hire, said that the demolition is destroying his building

Mark Thompson, owner of Alpha Hire on Bridge Street, Hindley, is at his wits’ end since an aging building was taken down at the end of February after it was deemed too unsafe.

The frustrated entrepreneur, who bought the building for his shop 15 years ago and rented prior to this, said that since the council demolished the structure next door there has been “no end” to the problems caused.

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A derelict shop was torn down on Bridge Street in Hindley for public safety

“The day after it came down we had pigeons in,” said Mr Thompson.

“We have now got about 20 pigeons living above the ceiling, between the shop and the flat next door.

“Nothing has been done. They were supposed to be coming and putting scaffolding up and blocking the walls up.

“When they knocked it down I was left with a single wall. I have a tenant living upstairs who is absolutely freezing.

“Now he is saying he wants to move out.”

The small tool tradesman said that with an already struggling business, he cannot afford to lose the hundreds of pounds a month brought in by having a tenant.

“I will be losing a whole income,” he said.

“And who is going to want to live there? The council are still going to want council tax off me.

“I already wanted to sell the shop and move but who is going to buy it now.”

Mr Thompson said that he has been told the owners of the previous shop, which was deemed too unsafe to remain standing, would be coming back to rebuild the property.

However, he said that this will not happen soon enough thanks to the process and cost of submitting a planning application, having the proposals approved and finding the money to construct an entire building.

The owners were served notices before the demolition commenced on February 21, instructing them to make the structure safe.

A council spokesperson said: “We’re currently looking into issues raised by the property owner and have been liaising with our contractors. We’ve historically had a positive relationship with the owner of number 24 and we endeavour to keep him and the public updated with our progress.”