A YOUNG person could be killed or injured in a school holiday tragedy on a derelict factory site which is waiting to be turned into an Aldi supermarket, BCP council has warned.

Asbestos-type substances, shards of broken glass and hanging electric cable now festoon the former Parr's confectionary factory at Alder Road, it has been reported.

BCP enforcement officials say the building has been attracting 'youngsters and urban explorers which has resulted in significant vandalism and graffiti and allegations of drug-taking and dealing and young, vulnerable teenagers sleeping on the premises'.

Enforcement Officer Andy Dearing visited the site and found it had been stripped of its electric cable, leaving 'broken plumbing which appears to be insulated with an asbestos-type material' which he said was exposed and open on the floor.

His discovered 'shards of glass' protruding from the frame of a skylight and that the 'asbestos-type' roof had been smashed by 'readily accessible masonry' leading to 'loose and insecure roofing'.

The factory still contains two vats or silos and other machinery which is accessible to trespassers and, he said the structure's former offices have been 'completely destroyed with glass and general detritus smashed around the entire building'.

BCP Council says that Aldi has a duty of care in relation to the site. "I am sure the company does not want a young person to be seriously injured or killed as a result of accessing the land or the buildings in their current condition," said Mr Dearing.

"Bearing in mind we are only weeks away from the school summer holidays, should the site not be safe and secure by the end of July, we will have no alternative but to complete formal action and necessary works to secure the site with costs being passed to Aldi."

A spokesperson for Aldi Stores Ltd said: “As the owners of the site, Aldi are aware of the trespasses which have occurred and take this matter very seriously. We have installed a CCTV monitoring system and carry out regular patrols to deal with this type of incident, and can confirm that additional measures will be put in place to prevent further trespassing.

“We currently have a live planning application for the site that was submitted back in April 2018, and we would urge the council to resolve this in order that this derelict eyesore can be redeveloped back into a positive use, preventing this sort of incident from occurring in the future.”

Plans for the new Aldi store and coffee shop were submitted in April 2018.

Nearby residents are generally in favour of the proposed store. The response of Mrs Sandie Jennings of James Road is typical:"I thoroughly support Aldi's application to transform what is a derelict unsightly area into a store beneficial to all and a new lease of life to the surrounding area and urge the council to approve this application," she said.

The enforcement action threatened by the council mirrors that taken by the authority at West Quay Marina in Poole last summer. The empty premises suffered persistent vandalism, plus reports that it was being used for child sexual exploitation.

The situation became so bad that Poole council applied for a premises closure order for the building which was described as a 'magnet for anti-social behaviour'.