Update: Problem former plastics site in Blackburn

Published October 13, 2017 at 16:10

A specialist demolition company has been instructed to demolish the rest of the building at the fire damaged V10 Polymers site in Blackburn, following three fires at the same site.

Works started on site today (Friday, October 13) and the demolition will begin on Monday morning.

The operation to remove the remains of the steel framed structure supports the multi-agency plan to make the site safer.

Letters have been sent out to residents in the area to keep them updated.

The Council has been in constant contact with partner agencies and a multi-agency meeting is also taking place at the site on Monday morning to discuss next steps.

The asbestos clean-up has now been completed. All of the residential properties have been cleaned, the canal toe-path and Paterson Street has been cleaned, vacuumed and power washed.

Since the first fire in August, the Environment Agency have been working closely with Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) and Blackburn with Darwen Council on a plan to reduce the risk of fire on site.

The Environment Agency under emergency powers have taken action by instructing contractors who started on Wednesday 4th October to create fire breaks in the waste plastic to reduce the chance of any fire spreading. The fire breaks also mean that Lancashire Fire and Rescue can access the site better to extinguish fires quickly to reduce the potential impact on the public and the environment.

The latest fire on Sunday, October 8, was in an area of the site where Environment Agency contractors had already created fire breaks and as a result the burn time of the fire was reduced.

Work is continuing on site and ahead of schedule to create fire breaks and better access points.

The Environment Agency will be in court on 14th November at Blackburn Magistrates with both company’s involved in the site in relation to potential offences under the Environmental Permitting Regulations.

Police are continuing to work with Lancashire Fire and Rescue, Council and other agencies with regard to the ongoing investigation relating to the suspicious circumstances of the fires.

Police are appealing to the community to remain vigilant and report any information which will help assist the ongoing investigation.

They are also urging people to stay away from the site in the interests of their own safety.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue’s Neil Hardiman, Service Delivery Manager, said:

The removal of the structure along with any other dangerous steel fixtures on site will also deter any unauthorised entry onto the premises.

Residents will have also noticed that significant work has taken place over the last week. This work has been carried out to ensure that the remaining waste is in the safest possible location in terms of firefighting.

We appreciate that the quantity and location of the waste is a concern for the local community and we urge residents to report any suspicious activity to the police or the fire service. If any residents would like to discuss the ongoing issues on site please contact Station Manager Neil Hardiman at Blackburn Fire Station 01254 52111.

The site has been under the monitoring of the Environment Agency for a long time. It was a plastics recycling plant V10 Polymers. V10 Polymers went bankrupt and sold the site to Holt Development who has subsequently gone into receivership. The site is being held by liquidators, Begbys. They have a site management company Eddison Remote who have are responsible for the site security and management.

The Council wants the site cleared up and most important, redeveloped to provide a long term solution.

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