Lancashire lab that helped snare Harold Shipman and Rose West to be demolished

Chorley's Forensic Laboratory.
Chorley's Forensic Laboratory.
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A former forensic science laboratory that cracked a number of high-profile cases looks set to be demolished.

The lab at Washington Hall, Euxton, near Chorley, has been empty since the Government-owned Forensic Science Service closed in 2011.

But now a planning application has been submitted by car dealership The Chorley Group to build a vehicle storage and maintenance workshop and offices on the site.

The application has arisen as a result of the construction of a new health centre which is being built on Friday Street, where the Chorley Group has a compound.

Speedy Scaffolding will also occupy offices and storage units on the site.

Chris Weetman, of CW Planning Solutions, agent for the applicants, said: “The Chorley Group wants to relocate from its offices in Friday Street to Washington Hall.

“The Chorley Group has been actively trying to find a suitable site in the borough for a number of years.

“Within the new buildings, there would be approximately 25 full time staff in the offices and approximately 35 full time staff in the work shop area.

“Speedy Scaffolding will employ 100 people from this site and approximately 25 will be permanently at the site.”

Adajcent to the forensic site are Chorley fire station and Lancashire Fire And Rescue Service’s training centre at Washiongton Hall.

In its heyday, the lab was key in bringing Harold Shipman, Rose West and Ipswich prostitute killer Stephen Wright to justice.

But it was one of three labs closed as part of a restructure of the service, which was estimated to be losing £2m a month at the time. Up to 200 jobs were thought to have been lost as a result of the closure.

Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle battled to stop the closure, but admits he is pleased something will happen to the vacant site.

“The site has been empty for a while now, jobs were lost in the past and we lost a great skills service due to a bad decision,” he said. “But we have moved on from that, the site is now being regenerated and a number of jobs will be created. The site has been vacant for a number of years now so it’s good to see that something is finally being done with it.”