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Calls made for derelict mill to be demolished following latest blaze
4:00pm Friday 6th September 2013 in News
ANOTHER fire at a derelict mill has prompted calls for it to be demolished, sooner rather than later.
Rochford council leader Terry Cutmore spoke out after the latest blaze at Stambridge Mills empty warehouse and offices in Mill Lane, Rochford. Police and fire are carrying out a joint investigation into the incident at 5.05pm on Monday.
About 30 firefighters attended the call including crews from Southend, Rochford, Hawkwell and two engines from Chelmsford.
A police spokeswoman said: “Witnesses had reported seeing youths running away from the scene and police later arrested a juvenile boy and girl.
“They were later released with no further action being taken. “The owner of the property did not wish to make a formal crime complaint as the building is due to be demolished.”
The mills have been unused for 13 years and the site is earmarked for up to 100 homes, by developers Inner London Group. Demolition is taking place and there is security fencing around the site, but it has been damaged by an arson in June and a fire, started by sparks from a metal cutter igniting some material, in March. Work started last October, but progress has been slow.
Mr Cutmore said: “This site is a concern if it poses a danger to residents and also to the firefighters.
”I don’t want to see anybody hurt unnecessarily.
“Plans have been put forward for the site and the sooner they are extricated and the structure comes down the better for everyone.”
It is understood there are issues with flood prevention measures needed for the site if housing is given the go-ahead.
Mr Cutmore added: “Given the recent flooding we all now fully know the real need for costly flood prevention measures so any future occupants of residential properties on the site will not be flooded.”
The entire roof of the warehouse building, measuring 15m x 20m, was alight when crews arrived. A water bowser from Chelmsford was sent to the scene to maintain water supplies.
They were on scene for several hours and returned to monitor for hotspots overnight. Southend crews kept visiting the site during yesterday (tues) after winds reignited the flames.
The Echo tried to contact the Inner London Group for comment and an update on the development, but nobody responded to our calls.
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