Woods Mill Set for Demolition
Wednesday 28th October 2015 @ 11:26 by Tom Greggan

Demolition experts are on stand-by to bring 200-year-old Woods Mill crashing down. But it took the narrowest of votes at last Monday’s High Peak Development Control Committee meeting.

The committee was tied at five-five with councillors wanting to save the mill and those wanting to demolish it reaching stalemate.

It took acting chairman Cllr Jean Wharmby using her casting vote to break the deadlock by deciding on demolition.

She told the Chronicle: “I had voted in favour of demolition at the first vote. Reports into the mill had been very, very thorough.”

Monday’s decision paves the way for the five-storey ex-Volcrepe factory and ancillary buildings to be knocked down. But nobody can give a start date and that means more misery for the people living in Lower Bank and Cross Cliffe.

With the road running alongside the mill closed on safety grounds, they could still face a diversion to reach the town centre. If snow and ice close steep Cross Cliffe- as they have in the past- they won’t be able to get out or emergency services reach them.

Speaking hours after receiving permission for demolition, Glossop Land MD Mick Ryan said: “We have got to know many of the local residents and businesses over the months that Milltown has been closed.

“Without exception, they have been helpful, supportive and understanding of the situation. I am relieved for them, that there is now an end in sight to their frustration.

“We will begin work to re-open Milltown as soon as the conditions and statutory requirements have been discharged.

“We have already started work on these elements and have put the demolition contractors on alert to start as soon as we are allowed too.

“The timing of the start to the works is in the hands of the statutory bodies, not us.”

Mr Ryan who wants to build homes and retail units on the land added: “I sincerely hope that this positive approach by the council will lead to the area getting the regeneration and investment that local residents and businesses around Woods Mill deserve.”

Councillors had to wade through a 26-page report before making a decision. It listed arguments both for and against demolition.

But the facts were that the building had not been used for 13 years, no-one wanted to move in and water and vandal damage had taken their toll.

Giving Glossop Land permission to demolish on ‘dangerous building’ grounds also came with conditions the company must follow.