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Call for Demolition of 'Tinderbox' Factory Building

August 9, 2008 12:30 PM

Following the 18th fire in just six years at the former Forrester Foods factory in Dallas Road, Kempston, Bedford Borough Liberal Democrats have called for the site to be pulled down.

A major fire broke out at the site on Monday night, and more than 50 firefighters using 16 fire engines were needed to tackle the blaze.

Commenting on the issue, Liberal Democrat Cllr Anita Gerard said: "I want to see the Forrester Foods building pulled down as soon as possible. The fact that so many fires have occurred at the building tells its own story. I live very nearby, and I know that local residents are extremely concerned. It is clearly a danger to the public, and the sooner it is demolished the better.'

"The owners of the site must face up to their responsibilities and make the site safe. Children playing at or near the site are at extreme risk, while local residents are also at risk from the repeated fires. There is asbestos in the building, and the thick black smoke produced due to old insulation materials left there caused great concern and distress to local residents. As well as the danger to people in or near the site, the safety of the emergency services who are being called to the site so frequently is also put at risk unnecessarily.'

"If the building's owners are delaying its demolition because of the cost, then it is local taxpayers who are paying the price. Residents are paying for the frequent call-outs of the emergency services via their taxes, while those services of course may be needed elsewhere. If the owners won't demolish the site themselves, then the council must force them to do it at their own expense. The moment it is pulled down will not be a moment too soon."