Demolition of dangerous building imminent as housing plan gets go-ahead

Developer Michael Singh, Emily Warrillow and MP Jo Cox at the derelict Maccess site.
Developer Michael Singh, Emily Warrillow and MP Jo Cox at the derelict Maccess site.

The battle to rid Gomersal of a derelict building that has become a target for arsonists has been won with the plan to turn it into housing given the green light.

The Maccess building on Nibshaw Lane will be given a new lease of life after the application to convert into housing was granted by Kirklees Council planning chiefs.

The plans, which are in a provisional stage, will include two buildings of residential flats.

The news has especially been welcomed by young campaigner Emily Warrillow.

The 14-year-old has worked tirelessly alongside local councillors and MP Jo Cox - as well as developer Michael Singh.

Emily’s proud mum, Christine said: “Emily was crying with emotion when she got the call telling her the news and goes to show that people do have a voice in these matters and are able to do something.

“She has been constantly emailing the council for updates - the campaign has been a big part of her life. She’s worked so hard and me, and her sister Katie, 11, are very proud.”

Jo Cox MP said: “This has been a very long and difficult road but the end is firmly in sight and reaching this point is wonderful news. It is testament to the efforts of Emily Warrillow that this problematic and troublesome site’s days are numbered and I look forward to seeing the building demolished and work starting on building these new homes.”

Coun Lisa Holmes says demolition is imminent.

She said: “I’m over the moon for residents who live near the building who have had to put up with problems of fires and children playing on what is a dangerous site.

“It’s been a lot better since the developer fenced the building off, but we’ve been very lucky that nobody has been badly hurt there.

“I am so happy that redevelopment work will start soon.”