Delays over demolition work to an Oswaldtwistle mill wrecked by fire have left nearby residents ‘terrified’, according to a Hyndburn councillor.
Rhyddings Mill was ravaged by a 40ft high blaze in early September and, despite demolition work beginning soon after, plans to raze the mill to the ground has halted.
Coun Brian Walmsley, who represents the ward, said residents were terrified by the 100ft mill chimney after the recent bad weather and urged the site to be pulled down over safety fears.
He said: "It’s taking a long while to come down and nothing has happened since the fire.
"The main danger is the chimney as we were told it was going to come down pretty quick but that’s not happened. I have worked in the building trade all my life and I am very worried about the impact the frost, snow and bad weather over the last few weeks will have had.If any high winds come after this then who knows what could happen."
He added: "There is also a big worry that youth’s and kids could get in there and be in danger as they are very dangerous buildings. People are getting really cheesed off with it."
Contractors Phoenix Demolitions began initial work on the grade-two listed Victorian mill soon after the fire and said at the time that a steeplejack would be needed to scale the chimney and drop bricks down it from the top. But the firm has said they are now no longer contracted to work there.
Hyndburn council said it is still waiting for an application to demolish the rest of the building from owners Bubble Holdings.
Council leader Peter Britcliffe said: "If someone got hurt it could be a disaster for everyone. We are now urging the owners to apply to demolish it as soon as possible because I have a very grave fear someone will get hurt.
"The owners may be worried there is some red tape around it but I have discussed this with planning and the application will be considered fairly with the onus on safety. It’s quite a prime area and hopefully it’s one where we can at some stage build some high class, quality housing but that would be up to the owners to seek that sort of planning permission. It’s an area that could be developed."
Owners Bubble Holdings Ltd could not be contacted for comment.