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Glass fall sparks safety fears

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By Joseph Gartly
Annan and Eskdale
Glass fall sparks safety fears

POTENTIAL tragedy was avoided by seconds yesterday in Annan after a pane of glass fell out of an empty building and onto the pavement below.

A window on the old Erskine Church was displaced by the wind at about 11.30 am, blowing onto the pavement only seconds after a pedestrian and his dog had been walking there.
An eyewitness said: “For months I have been flagging up that building, it is a danger.
“I have raised concerns to the police and they do not seem interested.
“A man was walking along past the building just before the window was blown out, if anyone was there it could have done serious damage.”
Oliver Holliday, of Annan, was also nearby when it happened and has voiced concerns over the condition of the derelict building.
He said: “The glass should have been removed ages ago.
“The building is decrepit, and has been so for ages. Someone should be held accountable.
“They need to remove all the glass immediately because if this happens again, someone could get really hurt. The glass from the building could kill someone.

DANGER building BA 1 *** Local Caption ***  CONCERN. . . Annan resident Oliver Holliday has voiced concern over the building
Annan resident Oliver Holliday has voiced concern over the building

Another bystander described the glass as like a “guillotine” and pointed out other panes hanging precariously.
The incident was reported to Dumfries and Galloway Council and responding, a spokesman said: “The building standards service deal with public safety issues relative to dangerous buildings.
“If there is a risk of further shards of glass falling, then we can take steps to safeguard the public e.g. erect temporary barriers or similar, until such times as we can contact the building owner to ask them to remove the danger.
“While the council has a duty to take action in order to safeguard the public, once they have been made aware of such an incident or danger, the responsibility for building maintenance lies with the property owner.
“Our first step would normally involve ascertaining if there is still a risk surrounding any remaining glass.
“We will therefore dispatch a member of our team to inspect this afternoon, and take the appropriate action, if deemed necessary, at that point.”
The owner of the old church, which is being advertised for sale as a development opportunity, was yesterday unavailable for comment.

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