Hartford Mill set for demolition

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

The Government has confirmed that Oldham’s listed Hartford Mill can be demolished, after years of the council pushing for the redevelopment of what has been called an “eyesore” and “blighted site”.

The mill has been vacant since 1991, and is owned by a private individual, Barry Parker, who has been working with the council on potential uses for the derelict buildings.

The council previously secured an option to acquire Hartford Mill in 2004 through Housing Market Renewal funding, however when this ceased the council no longer had the resources to purchase the site. It then looked at transferring ownership of neighbouring plots to the mill owner, in order to make the scheme more attractive and viable for investors.

Built in 1907, Hartford Mill ceased cotton spinning in the 1950s and was then later used by Littlewoods for mail ordering until 1991. Vacant since then, the structure has deteriorated over time and has attracted intruders, vandalism, anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping.

Last October, Oldham Council submitted a Listed Building Consent application seeking the total demolition of all structures within Hartford Mill and for the cleared site to be left fenced and secure.

The decision was referred to the Secretary of State as it involved the complete demolition of a listed building, and the Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government has now confirmed that the owner can now knock the structures down.

There are hopes that the cleared site can be used for a housing and wider regeneration project.

Cllr Sean Fielding, Oldham Council Leader, said: “This is great news as the demolition of the mill is long overdue. I’m pretty sure the vast majority of residents would agree as it’s been a blot on the landscape for years.

“The building had become dangerous and was a drain on resources, not just for the council but also others, such as the emergency services which were constantly being called out.

“This is also a brownfield site and now we can start looking forward to its future and development – improving things for existing residents and those who will be moving into the area once quality new homes are built.”

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This should not be celebrated. The Labour Council allowed this heritage asset to become derelict instead of being re-used. It will be replaced by banal and small housing.

By Acelius

This is so sad. With good creative leadership this could have been a huge positive landmark and regeneration statement for Oldham, the region and beyond (which it would have been if it was in France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden….).

By MancLad

Oldham deserves to be the dump that it is.

By Loganberry

The Council should have CPO’d it when it ha the opportunity to.

By Oscar

A positive decision,

This site was totally blighted by its listed status. Its been vacant since 1991. Once it has been demolished, the residents won’t have suffer this ASB magnet, the police and fire service won’t have to be there every other day and everyone won’t have to look out at a derelict, empty, shell of a mill that hasn’t had a chance of being redeveloped for at least two decades because of viability issues.

By Depressed Latic

Lancashire’s heritage just totally abandoned. This is one of the 365 mills which once stood in Oldham. One for each day of the year. This town once had more spindles than the United States. It epitomises the lack of ambition Oldham council has for the town. Low paid jobs, poor health statistics,appalling housing stock. The list of failure is endless. Anyone with half a braincell left Oldham years ago, never to return. A dreadful indictment of how you should not do local government.

By Elephant

The fact that the demolition of historical landmarks like this is celebrated indicates a lack of care for the past. I’m sure many soulless flats and houses will be built on top of this.

By Guille