Calls to demolish crumbling factory
A CRUMBLING former factory in Barrhead could again become a haven for vagrants over the winter, it is feared - reigniting demands for its demolition.
Residents of nearby flats in Gladstone Avenue reported seeing individuals sheltering from the elements in the disused plastic factory last winter, and there are fears the same could happen this year.
In June the Barrhead News reported on calls for the dangerous site, which is plagued by fires, to be demolished.
This week Councillor Danny Devlin redoubled his push to have the site demolished, saying: "It is only a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt in that building, how it is still standing is beyond me because it has been seriously gutted by fire.
"The roof and floor aren't safe and all it could take is one wrong step."
Throughout the summer fire-raising, vandalism and anti-social behaviour continued to be a problem on the site, prompting police to start regular patrols in the area.
Campaigners have been calling for demolition teams to move in for almost four years, however confusion remains over who owns the site, leaving residents at a loss as to who to approach.
The main entrance remains unsecured, leaving tons of rubbish and potentially hazardous material including paint and propane tanks exposed.
Councillor Devlin said: "It is known to the police, the fire brigade and the council as a problem spot, and all through the summer the kids were never out of it.
"The building is a wreck - no place for anyone to be hanging around, especially not sleeping there, and anyone who does see someone sleeping there should contact the council immediately.
"They are no conditions for someone to be spending the night in."
The factory sits 20 yards from back gardens and is surrounded on three sides by homes and on one side by a children's playpark.
When residents have taken matters into their own hands and confronted anti-social yobs they have been met with sickening reprisal attacks, including one instance of dog foul being smeared on the entrance to a tenement close.
One resident, who did not wish to be named said: "During the summer all kinds of people were constantly coming and going from the place.
"Not just young teenagers but older people too, people in their early 20s and 30s.
"I don't know what business people that age have hanging around in there, but they also take their dogs in.
"Police were always confiscating drink."
According to some residents kids as young as 12 have been seen hanging around in the factory.
Anyone who witnesses criminal acts in the vicinity are encouraged to contact police on 0141 532 6200 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
For homeless people or residents who have fears that someone may be living as a homeless person, East Renfrewshire Council operates an emergency homeless help line on 0800 052 0180.
East Renfrewshire Council has confirmed that efforts are still ongoing to have the site secured, however the site is privately owned.
This article appeared in Barrhead News 14 Nov 12