LATE LAST NIGHT our local fire and rescue service were called out to rescue two young girls from the roof of Hartford Mill. It’s the latest in a series of events that have all served to underline why action must be taken on the mill.
The re-development of Hartford Mill has been high on my list of priorities since my time as Council Leader. I have continuously lobbied the Government to see if we can cut through the red tape as the site. although rich in its heritage, mill has been a site of tragedy and last nights events show that more could easily follow if long overdue action isn’t taken.
Our local fire service personnel must be congratulated for their handling of this potentially tragic situation, and I’m relieved both young women are safe. But this event has again underlined the need for the Government to support the redevelopment of Hartford Mill in a more active way.
The Freehold and Chadderton area is overshadowed by the mill. The building is structurally sound, but is an eyesore to the surrounding area, and so far plans to develop the site have hit a dead-end.
Moreover, the site is not secure and is a target for trespassing, fly-tipping and other anti-social behaviour.
I have made representations to the council and importantly to the Government about the need for redevelopment of the mill. When Housing Market Renewal was scrapped it cut Freehold adrift. I await a visit from the Minister so they can see for themselves the scale of the issue here.
The Fire Officers and the Police have had to deal with the issues the Mill has presented for over 20 years. We simply cannot wait for another 20 years for action to be taken.
You can read more about my campaign for the Hartford Mill and the surrounding area of Freehold here.