Demolition work has finally started on Cleckheaton’s Northgate Mills – five years after its owners were originally granted permission to do so.
Bulldozers moved on to the site, owned by Tesco, over the weekend, after a long-running saga which began with the company sensationally pulling out of building a new supermarket last year.
Cleckheaton councillor Kath Pinnock said: “I am very happy that, at long last, Tesco are taking responsibility for their buildings.
“These buildings are in the heart of our town, and nobody wants to see derelict buildings in their town centre. The buildings were dangerous, and children were accessing them, so we are glad they are finally being pulled down.”
She suggested a mix of shops and houses on the site, as was suggested in a meeting in October last year between representatives from Tesco, ward councillors, Kirklees Regeneration and Investment Unit and the Spenborough Chamber of Trade.
She added: “I hope the next thing Tesco do is put the site on the market as soon as possible, so we can encourage development.”
During the demolition, coun Pinnock said parts of Serpentine Road may have to be closed – for which the demolition company would have to apply for a licence. Kirklees Council said it had not yet recieved an application to close the road.
Spenborough Guardian readers have had their say on what they think should happen next to the site.
Matt Smith said: “We need something that will bring people back to the town. We don’t need anymore houses – congestion is bad enough as it is without adding to the problem.”
Katherine Lightowler said: “A new sports centre to replace the one that we’ll lose when Whitcliffe School expands. Definitely needed!”