THE police and Calderdale residents have been asked to help find a mystery man who left the council with a heap of rubble and a bill for £230,000.
The man, originally thought to be Adrian Hulme, is believed to be the owner of a 165ft tall chimney which was attached to Corporation Mill, in Sowerby Bridge.
It had to be pulled down last year because it was in such a dangerous condition.
The work cost council taxpayers £190,000 plus VAT - £1 for every man, woman and child in Calderdale.
Calderdale Council’s economy and environment spokesman, Coun Barry Collins, said the council was making every effort to establish the owner’s identity.
“When it was found that the chimney was unsafe, we were left with very little option but demolition - public safety is paramount and we did the right thing in acting as swiftly as we did.
“But it remains for the council to recover the money from the owner of the chimney and so far, we have been unable to establish who that is.
“We hope that the police will be able to help us track down the owner,” said Coun Collins (Lab, Illingworth and Mixeden)
The council says it would welcome information from anyone which might have information about him.
The chimney was built in the mid to late 19th century.
It took longer to demolish than originally planned because of the search for the owner and because the structure was of historic and architectural importance.
English Heritage gave it a Grade II listing and had to give special permission for it to be felled, otherwise the council might have received a bill for restoring it.
Anyone who has any information which will help identify the owner is asked to contact Mike Terry, the council’s building control manager, on 01422 392221.