Maccess battle won - proposal to turn eyesore into housing

Developer Michael Singh, campaigner Emily Warrillow andl MP Jo Cox at the derelict Maccess site, which could be turned into housing. AB102a0615
Developer Michael Singh, campaigner Emily Warrillow andl MP Jo Cox at the derelict Maccess site, which could be turned into housing. AB102a0615

The battle to rid Gomersal of a derelict building that has become a target for arsonists looks to have been won with plans to turn it into housing.

The Maccess building on Nibshaw Lane will be given a new lease of life if an application, which is in the process of being submitted to Kirklees Council’s planning department, to convert into housing is given the green light.

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

The news has been welcomed by Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox who, along with teenage campaigner Emily Warrillow, met with the new developer owner Michael Singh a last week.

Emily, 13, has been petitioning for the eyesore to be removed since last October.

Jo Cox has also been backing the Whitcliffe Mount pupil’s campaign and said she is delighted that a proposal to develop the building has been made.

Mrs Cox said: “This just shows what you can achieve if you run a really good campaign. Emily has been at the forefront of that campaign.

“We are now talking with the owners of the building with the hope of getting planning permission through as quickly as possible so the building, which is still a safety hazard, can be demolished.

“It’s been an eyesore for so long, it’s brilliant to finally be seeing progress and that’s all down to Emily.

“I am so proud to back her campaign. She has been absolutely brilliant.”

Mrs Cox said she will continue to work with Emily and will be following the development of the plan “as closely as possible.”

She said it is also hoped the new build will include a space that will be accessable by the whole community.