Owing to poor maintenance by the present owners
Suttons at the former Peradin's factory, known as Freshford Mill,
there has been and continues to be a lapse in proper security February
year travellers gained access to the site (and this year). Apart from leaving a lot of
waste they tapped into the electrical supply to the site. Recently,
there was a rave. Although the gates are padlocked and barbed wire has
been placed above and on the gates and also along the bottom anyone
can gain vehicular access by simply cutting through the padlock chain
with a portable grinder in a few minutes. A local man's car was also
vandalised and locals disturbed by loud music. No doubt there would
also have been consumption of drugs. Extensive graffiti and broken
windows and other damage is evident. The
new owners, details to follow, have taken quick action to
improve security (March 2007) photo below at the foot of the page. I
thought at first that the new owners had decided to place a watchman
on the site, but was told that the caravans etc did belong to
Duty of Care
The site is derelict and although there are notices
warning would be trespassers that the site is dangerous, it is very
easy to gain access and has got even easier. Mention has been made
elsewhere that there is a colony of rare bats roosting in at least
one of the buildings. The owners of the site have a duty of care to
protect these bats and also to protect would be trespassers from
injury by taking all reasonable means to prevent ingress. Although
one might not feel sympathetic to those who take part in wanton
vandalism and mindless graffiti the site is very dangerous. Apart from
physical danger from collapsing floor structures and falling masonry
and other building materials there are very large quantities of
asbestos cement sheeting and other contaminated materials.
Some local people feel that Suttons the current
owners are deliberately failing to maintain security at the site as
part of putting pressure on locals to approve their application to
develop the site (Although their proposal has been approved) and would
be pleased to have the rare bat colony go elsewhere as they are
obliged to provide for the security of the bats and this is an
The almost total lack of security at the site is
evidenced by the photographs below that were taken at the end of
December 2006. The site can be accessed from Rosemary Lane both by
the gates and beside the river -the latter boundary is the most
secure- and also from the field that has a public footpath.
|One of the notices
attached to the fencing beside Rosemary Lane by the River Frome
section of the site boundary.
This part of the fencing is quite secure but it is
possible to gain access to the site by climbing the wall alongside.
However, there are easier ways to gain access as can be studied by
viewing the other photographs below.
The photographs have been published to quite a
high resolution to provide clear indications of where the security of
the site needs to be improved. The photographs follow a clockwise
circuit of the large site.
There is no evidence of any "Direct Link Alarms" as
mentioned in the notice.
|This photograph is of the
present padlock that replaces the two that can be seen on the ground.
The wood battens wired to the base of the gates is meant to stop would
be trespassers from getting under the gates. However, further along
someone, or something! has dug into the ground, which is soft -not
The padlock and "chain" looks no better than those
it replaces, although it may be harder. But as mentioned above a small
grinder could cut through the cable very quickly.
This element of the security of the site is meant to
prevent vehicular access rather than pedestrian access.
Apparently when the travellers occupied the site
they had their mail delivered and the Post Office was obliged to
deliver it to a box that the illegal occupants fixed to the gates!
Social security payments?
padlock has gone see photograph below taken on the 10th January 2007
|At the gate post the fence
which is quite flimsy has been cut through allowing walk in access.
|The fence that forms a
boundary with the field has been cut allowing convenient access close
to the footpath.
|Further along the boundary
adjoining the field a section of the fencing has been pushed down. The
building visible on the left is totally clad in asbestos cement
|Another photograph showing
the asbestos cement clad building is a very poor state.
I note that asbestos cement products will not be
accepted at local recycling centres and must be taken to Warminster by
the disposer after arranging a date and time to visit with the centre.
The person(s) disposing of this highly dangerous material must wrap it
in plastic sheeting and must themselves be protected against
contamination before they will be allowed to dispose of the material.
|In the same location to
the left the wall which is hardly more than a metre high has no
fencing behind it and also looks as if it is about to fall down
|This photograph shows
graffiti and also a broken panel allowing access to one of the
numerous buildings on the site.
Access to the roof, which may be dangerous to walk
over has been gained by either clambering up from the wall or by
making use of the iron girders on the left.
|Perhaps the least
inconvenient access to the site is by way of the window shown by the
tree. This building is adjoining the field by the River Frome.
|Another view of the same
window showing more clearly the removal of the boarding.
These windows were boarded over by wiring 18mm
chipboard to the metal frames. Thiss type of building material is
totally unsuitable for stopping access as it it has virtually no
impact resistance and is not meant for external applications.
Like other Peradins buildings the guttering and down
pipe is asbestos cement and the former is in a very poor condition.
|The corner to the left of
the photograph of the building above is insecure, fencing having been
removed allowing access to a pathway that goes over part of the old
millrace which structure is in a very poor condition and is especially
dangerous to youngsters who may gain easy access to the site.
|Photograph of the rear
stairway that can be accessed from the corner of the building shown
above. The door at the top of the stairs is wide open.
Photograph taken on the 10th January 2007
there is no padlock. the string was actually put there by a local so
as to protect members of the public from damage from the gates that
At present 6th March travellers have occupied the site and used
their own padlock to keep out either other fellow travellers or the
authorities. Although they have been served with a notice to quit,
under an eviction order, they have not vacated the site.
|The new owners have moved
quickly to get the travellers out. The bailiffs were sent in.
Access to the site is now rather a challenge as the owners have
arranged to drop off a couple of large drainage pipe sections and have
further weighted them down with aggregate. A sensible solution to this
long standing problem.
Photo taken 8th March
The gap in the fencing by the side of the gate has
been effectively closed as well, and new fencing has been installed in
the field adjoining the site. It is not clear whether this was paid
for by the new owners or was implemented by the owner of the field.