Derelict factory finally demolished

September 12, 2012

By Christine Keighery

Residents breathed a collective sigh of relief recently as the site of the former VanStar Meats Factory, on the Millvale Road, at Cloughreagh, was cleared during the week, with the derelict building demolished to make way for a proposed housing project.

Almost a year ago, a senior fire officer had called for the disused factory to be demolished after it was ravaged by fire in a deliberate arson attack. In his opinion, the damage caused by the fire had rendered the building unstable and dangerous, and liable to collapse at any time.

Despite those warnings, legal issues surrounding ownership of the premises meant the site remained in its derelict state and continued to be the target of ongoing incidents of vandalism. Local representatives branded it an “eyesore” and a “playground for vandals.”

Sinn Fein Councillor Pat McGinn had urged the Council’s Building Control and Environmental Health Departments to take appropriate measures to secure the site and remained vociferous in his appeals for the demolition of the former factory.

Speaking to The Examiner following the long-awaited clearance of the site, Mr McGinn said: “Since its closure, the former meat factory has been a setting for anti social activity and arson. There is a relief amongst the local community that it has been removed. As for the future use of this site, I am sure any plans for what is to be built on it will go through the proper procedures and consultation.” It is believed permission has been granted for the construction of a development of 24 houses on the site.