Derelict building warning

The former Maccess building. (D531A401)
The former Maccess building. (D531A401)

A Kirklees councillor has warned of possible court action against the owners of a derelict office block which has not yet been demolished.

The former Maccess building off Spen Lane has caught fire numerous times, at significant cost to the fire service, and is said to be a hangout for youths.

Owner Castlerock Capital Limited was handed a demolition order by Kirklees Council in January but demolition work has still not started.

Liversedge and Gomersal councillor Lisa Holmes believes enough is enough, and has warned Castlerock that the council will not wait around.

“The building is beyond repair,” she said. “It should not even be there. It is a fire risk and has been vandalised – it is now irreparable.”

The owners were given until February 6 this year to appeal the demolition order. No appeal was made.

Coun Holmes warned the council would have to take further action unless Castlerock started demolition in the next three weeks.

She said: “If nothing is done in that time, we will take it to court and treat it as a criminal matter.

“This is public money we would be using to go through the courts, but the building is already costing so much money anyway.

“We have to be careful, but it is now in their best interests to take the building down.”

A major blaze took place at the building in December last year, with five fire units deployed to the site.

Firefighter Danny Shuttleworth, from Batley Fire Station, said at the time: “We have been here loads of times – it needs pulling down.

“My watch has been here about half a dozen times, and that’s only one watch.”

People living near the building agreed something should be done about it.

Joanne Godfrey said: “I live opposite it. It’s an eyesore and should definitely be knocked down.”

The Maccess building may not be the only problem facing Castlerock Capital, as displays the business’s last accounts in January 2013 showing a net worth of £-1,294,969.

The company was also served a £4,000 bill by the council in January to secure the site.

Castlerock were unavailable for comment, but owner Mark Whitehead told the Spenborough Guardian in January: “I am working with the council on a potential solution but have no further comment at this stage.”