The News helps get welfare demolished

NRHNLMS110316B6 - Losce miners welfare
NRHNLMS110316B6 - Losce miners welfare

A DANGEROUS eyesore building that was spoiling a Loscoe cul-de-sac is finally being demolished after a Ripley and Heanor News Sort it Out campaign.

The former Loscoe Miners’ Welfare at the bottom of Birchwood was burned out in an arson attack in April, 2010, and had been left derelict ever since.

Residents on the street had complained the building had become a magnet for anti-social behaviour.

Neighbours claimed a child had broken his leg while climbing among the ruins and others had spotted an infestation of rats and vermin.

After months of protest, a demolition team moved in last week to start pulling the building down. The Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation (CISWO), which administers the building and the land it sits on, and Amber Valley Borough Council were convinced to take action after seeing pictures of the eyesore in the News last month.

CISWO is a national organisation that takes control of miners’ welfares when they close down in order to sell the land and make money for welfare charities.

Birchwood resident Derek Robinson, whose property backs on to the building said: “It was vandalised until it became an eyesore. Anything that was salvageable had been pinched.

“In the summer they smashed everything that could have been smashed. Someone would have been killed if they had not pulled it down sooner.”

Loscoe town councillor Bob Moon, who has been pursuing CISWO to demolish the building since December, was delighted at the outcome, he said: “As much as anything the photos convinced both Amber Valley and CISWO that this was worse than they had thought it was. “

Members of CISWO had met with building inspectors at Amber Valley Borough Council on March 8.

Both groups decided from the meeting that the former miners’ welfare and the old steward’s accommodation building directly next to it needed demolishing as they were posing a risk to safety.

Finance director of CISWO, Steve Hudson, said: “We have pulled them down simply because it was a dangerous structure and because we had received several complaints in the area saying that it was an eyesore. We will still look for the best price for the land, we are in constant discussions with the council and interested parties.”

Mr Hudson said CISWO had paid the £15,000 demolition bill. Money from the sale of the land will go to the Loscoe Miners’ Welfare charity.

However, Mr Hudson said the site was not easily accessed by vehicles and access issues have made it difficult to sell.