Mill owners face £70k bill

The owners of a derelict mill site face a £70,000 bill now that demolition work has been carried out.

Monday, 19th September 2016, 1:11 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 2:15 pm
Demolition work at a fire-hit building on the Pagefield site has now been finished and cost around £70,000

Wigan Council decided to dismantle an “unstable” fire-damaged outer building on the Pagefield Mill site in Swinley.

They had served notice on the owners to demolish the building in July as it was in a “dangerous condition”.

But instead the council used its powers to go ahead with the work itself, starting last month.

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Now council bosses will look to get the money spent on the demolition from the foreign-based owners of the former college and mill site.

Mike Worden, assistant director for planning and transport at the council, said “The demolition at Pagefield Mill is now complete and the council is seeking to recover estimated costs of £70,000 from the current owners.”

A team of 20 people spent around five weeks demolishing the building piece by piece.

Because it was on a listed site, it was done by hand so no additional weight was placed on the building and no further damage was done.

New fencing has also been put up around the site to protect it and stop people getting inside.

The Evening Post revealed on Wednesday that Pagefield Mill, which has planning permission for hundreds of apartments, is up for sale for £2.5m.

It was named in a list of the nation’s top 10 endangered historic buildings.

The Victorian Society said the former cotton mill is a prime example of a lack of investment.

The site next to Mesnes Park has fallen into a state of disrepair in recent years.

Numerous fires have been started there, with the problem escalating this year and firefighters regularly being called to the derelict site.

In one worrying incident, a large canister of highly flammable propane was left next to a fire at Pagefield and could have killed firefighters called to put out the blaze if it had exploded.

The site has also been a magnet for young people, leading to repeated warnings for them to stay away before someone is seriously hurt or even killed.

The council, police and fire service have all highlighted the risk, with police officers working with schools to warn pupils of the dangers.