Crumbling Colne mill set to be demolished

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Crumbling Colne mill set to be demolished Crumbling Colne mill set to be demolished

A LANDMARK mill in Colne is facing demolition – after its owners declared they had not got the finance to carry out urgent repairs.

Council bosses in Pendle have had Oak Mill, in Skipton Road, on their ‘problem buildings’ list for more than two years.

Most of the windows in the premises have been vandalised and planning officers have been concerned about the state of the frames.

Now the mill’s Manx owners have been fined £600 by Reedley magistrates after admitting failing to comply with a planning order seeking the mill’s repair.

And it appears that the only future for the mill is now demolition, after the borough council and Douglas-based Gallon Ltd reached an impasse over a housing scheme for the sprawling site.

The court heard that Gallon Ltd acquired the property in 2006 but following the downturn in the property market had been unable to come up with a successful scheme for the old mill.

Victoria Ingram, appearing on behalf of Gallon, said that quotations had been sought regarding possible repairs but these had come to around £8,000.

She told the court that the company was not unwilling to take action but it did not have the necessary finance to carry out the repairs sought.

“The company acknowledges the council's concerns but it feels that a more viable solution, than replacing the windows, to improve the situation, would be to demolish the building,” she added.

This would resolve the immediate issue until a scheme could be brought forward for the mill site.

Howard Culshaw, prosecuting on behalf of Pendle Council, said the building had been on the council's problem buildings list since October 2010 and a number of planning enforcement notices had been served on the owners.

There was even a meeting between the owners, the council and Lancashire Police in June 2012 after children had been seen climbing into the compound surrounding Oak Mill.

A final inspection was carried out on January 15 and there had been no visible progress on any of the issues raised by the authority, said Mr Culshaw.

The company was also ordered to pay £270 court costs and a £60 victim surcharge by the court.

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