Hartford Mill Demolition Published: Monday, 25th September 2023

Hartford Mill chimney is set to be knocked down – meaning longstanding regeneration plans for the area can now gather pace.

The explosive demolition of the structure will take place on Sunday, October 1 at 10am.

Residents living close to the demolition site, in Werneth, have been updated on the plans and will be evacuated while the explosion takes place, returning to their homes soon after.

The landowner’s previous plans to knock down the chimney with a specialist machine were not possible due to it being unavailable.

Councillor Arooj Shah, Leader of Oldham Council, said: “I’ve been told knocking down any chimney, especially one which is quite close to housing, is a complex job. That’s why it has remained standing while the rest of the mill was bulldozed.

“The removal of it will be an important milestone in this project and once it’s gone, the site can be cleared so it can then be used for much-needed new housing in the future.

“The council does everything it can to support building on brownfield land, to reduce pressure to build on the greenbelt. This site is a great example of that.

“The demolition will inconvenience residents living close to the site but it should only be for a small period of time and our teams are in touch with them.

“We also know people will come to see the chimney fall but bear in mind there will be a number of road closures and diversions in place on the day.

“And if you are elsewhere in Oldham on the day and hear a big bang - now you know what it will be.”

The mill, which was opened in 1907, produced cotton until the 1950s.

However, it had been empty since 1991 after retailer Littlewoods left the site.

The building was listed in 1993 as Grade II but its condition rapidly deteriorated and the mill became an eyesore and an anti-social behaviour hotspot, covered in graffiti and surrounded by fly-tipping.

Plans to knock down the mill were approved in 2019 and demolition began the following year after the government gave the green light. Works were halted due to Covid restrictions and when they were completed only the chimney remained.

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