Demolition underway at former danger site

Emily Warrillow campaigned to have the old building pulled down as it became a hub for anti social behaviour.
Emily Warrillow campaigned to have the old building pulled down as it became a hub for anti social behaviour.

Work to demolish a notorious derelict building that has been targeted by vandals and arsonists for years has begun.

Builders this week started the demolition of the former Maccess site in Gomersal to make way for new flats.

It comes after 14-year-old Emily Warrillow presented a petition to Kirklees Council last year as part of a campaign to get the building demolished.

She worked alongside local councillors, Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox and developer Michael Singh.

The project secured provisional permission from council planners in January.

After permission was granted, Ms Cox said the demolition was a testament to Emily’s efforts.

She 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.”

Diggers arrived at the site, in Nibshaw Lane, on Tuesday to start work.

Christine Warrillow, Emily’s mum, said: “It goes to show that people do have a voice in these matters and are able to do something.

“The campaign has been a big part of Emily’s life. She’s worked so hard.”