Closure order granted at Pagefield Mill
A closure order has been granted for Pagefield Mill in Wigan, making it a criminal offence to trespass onto the site.
Wigan Council obtained the order with the support of Greater Manchester Police and the Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service following repeat reports of anti-social behaviour.
The order was granted by Wigan Magistrates Court on 29 June 2021 and is valid for three months. During this time any person found to be within the perimeter of the site could be liable to an unlimited fine and/or imprisonment.
Residents that live near to Pagefield Mill also offered support to the council by not only providing information on many of the incidents that have occurred at the site but also attending court.
Councillor Kevin Anderson, portfolio holder for Police, Crime and Civil Contingencies, said: “Our success in getting this closure order is a demonstration of partnership agencies within the Wigan community working together and achieving positive outcomes for the area.
“I would like to thank all those residents who supported us and worked with us in tackling this ongoing problem.
“By making it a criminal offence for anyone to trespass here highlights the seriousness of this behaviour and dramatically increases the severity of the consequences.
“It is deeply regrettable that we continue to see people trespassing on this site and are still receiving reports of anti-social behaviour. The council may not have a legal responsibility for the building, but we do have a moral obligation to keep our residents safe.”
Pagefield Mill is a privately owned listed building and forms part of the borough’s impressive heritage assets but has fallen into a state of disrepair.
The closure order granted at the end of June is the second to be put in place at Pagefield Mill. A previous order was granted in July 2020 and it was in place from 8 July 2020 until 2 October 2020, it was then extended for a further three months until 1 January 2021.
During that period, there was a reduction in the reports from both residents and the emergency services. Between August 2019 and 7 July 2020, prior to the first closure order, the police received 27 reports at the site. During the period the order was in place, there was only nine.
Coun Anderson added: “We have seen that this kind of order can be successful and by reducing anti-social behaviour here it allows our emergency responders from GMP and GMFRS to concentrate their efforts on the real emergencies in the area.
“This building is severely dangerous and there are real risks associated with entering the site. For everyone’s safety we urge people not to trespass.”
Posted on Tuesday 6th July 2021