Doing nothing is not an option

A DEMOLITION notice is being sought against a derelict Gomersal factory to stop lives being put at risk.

Coun Lisa Holmes wants Kirklees Council chiefs to take action over Maccess on Spen Lane.

She believes pulling it down would cost taxpayers up to £35,000, which would be recovered from the owner.

Coun Holmes (Con, Liversedge and Gomersal) said doing nothing is not an option given the parlous state of the building.

The current owner has demolition plans which depend on getting planning permission for new houses.

Coun Holmes said: “As he has missed this week’s planning committee, the earliest will be August 6 – which is not soon enough in my view.

“The site is a great danger as it is full of hazards such as broken glass, sharp metal, used needles and voids.

“I have a great fear that a child will be hurt, or worse, if the building is not demolished quickly.”

Coun Holmes, who also sits on the fire authority, said her quest is backed by senior firefighters.

She added: “The fire service deem this building as a serious danger and it should not be entered in any circumstances.”

Two arsons in eight days, including one last Sunday at around 5pm, caused even more damage.

Children, believed to be aged 10 to 12, were seen inside Maccess prior to the roof being set ablaze on June 13.

In a twist, travellers moved to Maccess from New North Road in Heckmondwike on Wednesday morning.

Kirklees secured an eviction notice against them that was due to be enforced by 1pm that day.

Further court proceedings are now likely and Coun Holmes added: “There were boulders blocking entry to the site. But travellers can be quite ingenious. If they want to get in they'll find a way to move them.”


• MP Jo Cox (Lab, Batley and Spen) met with the site owner to discuss the prospect of new homes being built there yesterday (Thurs). Also in attendance was local teenage campaigner Emily Warrillow, who has fought hard to get Maccess demolished.

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