Arson-hit listed Wigan building is demolished
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Flames tore through the abandoned Westwood Hall on the evening of Saturday April 23 last year and initially firefighters were told by inspectors that the premises would have to be razed because of their dangerous state.
But Wigan Council later said this may not happen because the former home on Westwood Lane, Ince, was granted Grade II listed status by the Government in 2007.
As latest pictures show, however, the buildings have now been erased from the landscape with only a patch of bare earth and a charred spruce to show that they were ever there and what became of them.
The hall was the subject of a dispute between a former tenant and the local authority – which took ownership of the cottage in 2003.
Two decades ago the town hall had wanted to knock it down to make way for industrial developments, but eventually it agreed to incorporate the place into plans which eventually didn’t need the land anyway.
And so there it had stood for the years since.
It had been vacant for some time and was proving a magnet for intruders.
And with most of the roof gone following the blaze only further damage was going to be caused by the elements.
As such there would have been a race against time to shore up the building against the weather and further break-ins.
Now it is immaterial. David Proctor, assistant director - planning and regeneration at Wigan Council, said: “After carefully reviewing the findings of surveys conducted to assess the extent of the damage, it was determined the building needed to be demolished in the interests of public safety.”
The premises dated back to at least 1841 but former tenant Carl Lillis thought they were at least a century older than that.
As far as the land is concerned there are no specific plans to rebuild anything where the hall stood, but there is an existing masterplan/planning framework for the wider Westwood Park site that has been out for some time and is on the council’s website.