Express & Star

Inferno ravaged factory in Willenhall set for demolition

A Willenhall food distribution factory which was ruined in a huge fire is set to be demolished.

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Midland Chilled Foods in Stringes Lane, Willenhall. PIC: Google Street View

Midland Chilled Foods has put forward a plan to Walsall Council planning officers to take down the building on Stringes Lane ahead of a potential new build in the future.

In the application, the representatives from the company said the existing building on the site was now structurally unsafe.

Around 50 firefighters were called to the scene in January when a fire broke out in the factory unit, resulting in flames bursting through the roof and sending smoke billowing into the sky.

The inferno caused more than 60 per cent of damage to the building and a subsequent West Midlands Fire Service investigation showed it started in a refrigeration unit.

If the plan is approved, the demolition is expected to last around two months with the company hoping to get started on it in June.

The demolition will start with the soft strip of internal debris before the removal of the steel cladding and frame. The concrete floor will also be removed and crushed.

In the application, representatives from the company said they envisaged the new building will be similar in size to the old one.

Agents DPS Architects said: “The existing building and structure are vacant following extensive fire damage. Demolition is required to provide re-build development.

“It is proposed the building will be demolished in a single phase of works with an initial soft strip out including any deleterious materials followed by mechanical demolition of the buildings and structures, removal of floor slabs and foundations.

“The works will be undertaken by a suitably experienced and competent demolition contractor.”

They added the hours of operation for the demolition will be 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday only while regulations for matters including dust and noise will be followed.

Walsall Council planning officers are expected to make a decision on the application next month.