JCB Jackie leads mill demolition!

Date published: 24 April 2009

THIS big boy’s toy proved no match for Councillor Jackie Stanton.

She showed her true colours when she donned a yellow bib and a white hard hat to get behind the controls of a massive JCB.

The deputy council leader — more used to cutting her political opposition down to size — tried out the machine during the demolition of the Albert Mill, Derker.

The two-acre site is being razed to make way for around 40 homes and apartments as part of the multi-million pound Housing Market Renewal (HMR) scheme to transform run-down areas of Oldham and Rochdale.

This will see hundreds of properties swept away and replaced in Derker, Freehold and Werneth.

The proposals for the Albert Mill, developed by Gleeson Homes, include a community square and a walkway to the Derker Metrolink station. It will be called Lower Moor, chosen by locals because it is the historical name for the area.

A planning application is to be submitted and Councillor Stanton said: “Clearing the old buildings from the site is good news as we will be in a good position to build these homes.

“The vision for new development on this site is excellent and I am really looking forward to the new homes being built.”

Albert Mill was built in Cromford Street in 1869 and was known locally as Tyre Cord Mill for its production of materials used in the industry. It closed in 1981 and was most recently used by a logistics company.

Preparatory work has been underway for some weeks, with internal fixtures removed for recycling. It was also surveyed for asbestos and bats, with asbestos removed by contractors and no bats found.

The HMR development of Derker was delayed when residents fought an unsuccessful High Court battle to save their homes from demolition.

Fellow ward councillor Roger Hindle said: “After a long period of nothing happening at last people can see something, even if it is demolition and clearing of sites.”