Derelict col­lege build­ings dam­aged in lat­est ar­son at­tack

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Front Page -

DERELICT col­lege build­ings ear­marked for a £2m de­mo­li­tion were tar­geted by ar­son­ists last week­end.

Calls have now been made to speed up the clear­ance of the for­mer Skelmers­dale Col­lege build­ings which have been re­peat­edly tar­geted by van­dals and ur­ban explorers in re­cent years.

Seven fire en­gines were sent to the build­ings, in Yew­dale, on Satur­day night when a fire was de­lib­er­ately started in­side.

Crews from Skelmers­dale and Orm­skirk were called at about 8.15pm and three ad­di­tional fire en­gines were re­quested from Chorley and Greater Manch­ester to as­sist with water re­lay.

Fire­fight­ers spent more than two hours bat­tling the blaze, the lat­est in a long se­ries to hit the build­ings.

The Ad­ver­tiser un­der­stands that the fire is con­sid­ered to be ar­son but will not be in­ves­ti­gated by po­lice.

The build­ings have stood empty for al­most a decade since the col­lege was re­named West Lan­cashire Col­lege and re­lo­cated to a new £42.8m cam­pus in Septem­ber 2011. Lan­cashire County Coun­cil last month ap­proved plans to buy the site for a nom­i­nal £1 fee as well as com­mit­ting £2m to de­mol­ish the build­ings in prepa­ra­tion for the de­vel­op­ment of a Skelmers­dale rail­way sta­tion.

With a plan fi­nally in place for the site’s fu­ture, Rosie Cooper MP has called for the de­mo­li­tion to take place as soon as pos­si­ble.

She said: “I have long called for these build­ings to be de­mol­ished as they con­tinue to at­tract tres­passers and ar­son­ists, pos­ing a real risk to lo­cal Skelmers­dale res­i­dents.”

The for­mer col­lege build­ings have been the tar­get of re­peated ar­son at­tacks

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