Fire-damaged mill building demolition underway

A fire-hit building at a derelict mill is in the process of being demolished.

Friday, 29th July 2016, 9:03 am
Updated Friday, 29th July 2016, 11:04 am
The former Pagefield Building, part of which is being demolished

Wigan Council has stepped in to knock down one of the buildings on the Pagefield site in Swinley.

It comes after a spate of deliberate fires and concerns that someone could be seriously hurt in the derelict buildings.

In the most recent incident a gas canister was placed next to a fire as a booby trap.

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Mike Worden, the council’s assistant director for planning and transport, said: “We have taken action on this as a matter of urgency and have now served notice to the owners of Pagefield Mill so we can demolish one of the fire damaged buildings. We will seek to recover the cost of this demolition from the owners.

“We have had assurances from the owners more secure fencing around the site has been ordered and will be erected in August. It is absolutely critical that this fencing is put up and the site is protected. If this timescale is not adhered to then we will carry out the works and recover the costs.

“This is an extremely dangerous site and we are urging young people to stay away from it for their own safety. We are working with the police and swift action will be taken against those who are caught trespassing and risking their lives.”

The demolition comes after the council issued an ultimatum to the owners of the site earlier this month to demolish the fire-hit building - or they would do it themselves.

There have been many calls for something to be done about the former mill and college site, which has fallen into a state of disrepair.

The number of fires there has escalated in recent months.

Last week, firefighters found a potentially lethal gas canister deliberately placed next to a pile of rubbish which had been set alight.

The large canister of highly flammable and explosive propane had already started to heat up and could have put firefighters’ lives at risk if it had exploded.

Simon Connor, crew manager at Wigan fire station, said if the canister had exploded, it could have been “like a small bomb going off”.