A local community leader has welcomed the start of work to demolish a former factory building that had deteriorated to a dangerous extent.
The former Fleming’s Sawmill in Elgin has been derelict for several years and had to be made safe when part of the building collapsed in high winds on Christmas Eve last year.
Part of Linkwood Road was blocked by rubble and a family living alongside the building were forced from their home for several hours until the building was made safe.
While plans had been submitted five years ago to build a new retail park on the site at a cost of £20million these were rejected by Moray Council, with the developers behind that move going into administration soon after.
The plot was subsequently purchased by Robertson Homes who were behind demolition work on the site beginning this week.
A spokesman for the firm said: “We have begun demolition at the sawmill buildings on Linkwood Road, which involves removing the roof and taking down the walls.
“Although the site is safe we want to ensure there is no potential for any further damage in the coming winter. That is why we are demolishing the building and tidying up the site to reduce any risk and make the area more attractive.”
The owners say that they have “no fixed plans” for the site at present but expect that it will be advertised as suitable for development.
Local councillor John Divers welcomed the decision to demolish, saying: “It is a good decision – it has been an ongoing saga and something I was pushing for several years ago.
“It has been a total eyesore since it stopped being a sawmill and the sooner it came down and the area got tidied up the better.”