‘Knock this death risk down ... now’

Derelict buildings at the former Fylde Farm site, off Normoss Road, Poulton
Derelict buildings at the former Fylde Farm site, off Normoss Road, Poulton
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CALLS were today stepped up for a charity to take responsibility for a “death trap” after fire ripped through it yet again.

Local councillors and residents believe it is only a matter of time before someone is killed at Poulton’s Fylde Farm.

And, despite Wyre Council placing a demolition order on the site, owners the North West Young People’s Development Trust (NWDT) are believed to be resisting calls to flatten the derelict buildings.

The Normoss Road site was hit by arsonists again in the early hours of yesterday morning, with three fire crews from Blackpool and South Shore called out to deal with a blaze in one of the abandoned properties.

The building targeted was believed to be one of the site’s largest, and was being used by Emmanuel Christian School before they left the site last year.

A resident, whose Sefton Avenue home overlooks the site, said: “It was the last building these vandals hadn’t got into.

“There are regular parties over there and the noise on Bank Holiday Monday went through the roof.

“These are kids and one of these day somebody will be killed.”

Fire crews needed thermal image cameras, breathing apparatus and two triple extension ladders to tackle yesterday’s flames, which were reported at around 5.20am.

Coun Barry Birch has been calling for action on site for months and said: “I’m still very, very concerned that we’re going to be looking at a death on this site.

“If children go and play on that site they may not come back.

“Young people’s lives are being put at risk.”

The NWDT has until July to comply with the demolition order to clear the site, which has become a target for repeated vandalism and arson attacks.

And Coun Birch added: “The main stumbling block is the charitable trust will not give consent for demolition.

“Wyre Council can put various demolition orders on the site, but that takes time and the cost to the rate-payers is very, very high.”

The site used to be the home of Fylde School, a correctional facility for young people.

But the school’s closure and a failed planning application has seen the area become derelict.

The Emmanuel Christian School moved on to the site in 2003 and remained until last year, but was forced to close following repeated vandal attacks.

The NWDT was unavailable for comment but have previously said they would work with the local council at the site.