‘They could have been crushed’

A MOTHER and her baby narrowly escaped being crushed when an unstable wall collapsed.

Anna Heath, of Hipperholme was pushing her pram past the wall near to Glen Terrace when it fell, missing them by inches.

The potentially dangerous condition of the wall had been reported to Calderdale Council several weeks before the collapse by Coun Graham Hall (Con, Hipp/Light), as reported in last week’s Echo.

Ms Heath contacted Coun Hall to tell him that the wall had collapsed at around 2.45pm last Saturday.

“Both myself and Councillor David Kirton (Con, Hipp/Light) went immediately to the scene to look at the devastation and to meet Ms Heath and Andrew Haigh from Calderdale Council,” he said.

“She explained to us how she had heard the wall start to fall and how her child was crying. She said neighbours had come out of their houses because they had heard the noise it made when it fell. Both Ms Heath and her baby are lucky they weren’t crushed.”

He said the main issue now was making sure the wall was safe and Mr Haigh attended after they called the Council’s Emergency Services.

“Our officers are trying to deal with the situation at the moment. I am just pleased that the lady and her child hadn’t been injured as they were walking past.”

Building control surveyors from Calderdale Council have been out to look at the remaining sections of the wall. But confusion still surrounds who owns the wall, which borders an unadopted road, according to the council.

Councillor Graham Hall said he has been dissatisfied with how the council has dealt with the situation which he originally reported on November 24 in writing. A verbal complaint was made a few months earlier.

“I am trying to determine how these inquiries were handled and why the matter was not dealt with sooner,” he said.

One resident said he wasn’t surprised that the wall had finally fallen. “I knew when I bought my house it was dodgy especially the bit where it has collapsed. I did hear that a lady was walking nearby and she heard it fall. But thankfully it hasn’t caused a great deal of damage or destruction to people but obviously it is a risk.”

According to a picture the resident owned the wall was attached to the former Hipperholme Infants’ School which was demolished in the 1990s.

A council spokeswoman said: “The council has assessed the wall and removed the immediate danger from the top of the section of wall that has fallen down. We are in the process of trying to find the owner of the wall so we can serve them with the notice to fix it. If we can’t find them then we will remove the danger.”