Stop this madness

The fire ravaged and derelict Fylde farm site has attracted scores of youths, with some left injured. Coun Birch (below) has now called for action.
The fire ravaged and derelict Fylde farm site has attracted scores of youths, with some left injured. Coun Birch (below) has now called for action.
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THE owners of a derelict site have been slammed for “dicing with people’s lives” following a horror accident.

A teenager suffered serious injuries after plunging 12ft through a hole while playing in the former Fylde farm building - and now owners the North West Young People’s Development Trust has been warned enough is enough.

Councillor Barry Birch

Councillor Barry Birch

Coun Barry Birch, for Highcross, said youngsters are failing to heed warnings to stay away and is urging the firm to demolish the dilapidated buildings on the Normoss Road site, near Poulton, before someone is killed.

He said: “This site has caused us problems for a number of years and we’ve got the point now where in my opinion the site is dangerous.

“We’ve been very fortunate up to now there’s not been a serious accident and I think the trust is playing with people’s lives.

“It’s not about money (to pay for demolition) it’s about their moral duty of care.

“The only way we can get anything done is to shame these people into action.”

The 15-year-old boy injured in Wednesday’s incident suffered a serious leg injury and was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital, while a second boy was uninjured.

The teenagers were just two of dozens who trespassed on the site on Wednesday, with the police moving 26 youngsters off the site.

Wainhomes has planning permission to build 126 houses on the land, but Coun Birch understands the deal to sell the land to the developer is yet to go through. And he said despite the dangers Wyre Council was powerless to do any more than put pressure on the trust to act.

Coun Birch said: “Wyre Council inspected the site at my request last week and they found they don’t have powers to force demolition, and I understand the trustees are not in a financial position to pay for demolition of the buildings on the site because all their money is tied up in the land.

“Obviously I was very sorry to hear about the injuries caused to the young person who was taken to hospital and hopes he makes a speedy recovery, but we have pointed out on a regular basis the perils of people going onto this site.”

The site - the home of the Emmanuel Christian School between 2003 and 2010 - has been repeatedly targeted by vandals and arsonists.

And the emergency services have again pleaded with youngsters to stay off the land.

A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “We would urge people not to enter the Fylde Farm site as not only is it trespassing, but as has happened, they could get trapped and put themselves in danger. Any criminal activity will also be dealt with.”

Solicitors acting on behalf of the North West Young People’s Development Trust said the group did not want to comment.

Click here to see how The Gazette reported the story: Horror fall at Fylde death trap