Cops launch criminal investigation into firm’s demolition of ‘dangerous’ Dundee mill site

Police have launched a criminal investigation into the allegedly illegal demolition of a Dundee mill.

Wallace Craigie Works, also known as Halley’s Mill, was razed to the ground in May by Craigie Estates, which claimed the crumbling building was dangerous.

However, Dundee City Council argued the firm did not obtain proper consent to demolish the B-listed building.

The matter is now in the hands of the police, who confirmed it was passed on to them to deal with as a criminal investigation.

However, they were unable to confirm whether the alleged offence has been reported to the procurator fiscal.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “The matter is still under investigation and inquiries are continuing.”

If the case leads to a prosecution, the owners could face a fine of up to £50,000 and two years in prison.

Craigie Estates has maintained the former mill had to be demolished as a matter of public safety, citing a number of break-ins, vandalism and the building’s derelict state as justification.

The company said it had secured a building warrant from the council in April to tear down the property.

According to the local authority, the process of gaining a demolition warrant under building standards is separate to that required under planning legislation to demolish a listed building.

The mill dates back to 1836 as a flax manufacturing base, later expanding into jute production.

After the First World War, the mill’s fortunes declined and it was devastated by two fires in the 1940s and 50s, before being rebuilt in the 1960s as a factory producing cloth for carpets.

However, with the wider decline of industry in Dundee starting from the 1980s, Halley’s Mill was left vacant and gradually rotted away.