A council investigation is under way after demolition crews began tearing down a Dundee landmark.
Locals hit out after wrecking crews moved onto the former Wallace Craigie jute works – known also as Halley’s Mill – on the city’s Broughty Ferry Road.
Critics said they were angry that the building had been left to deteriorate to such a state that it had to be demolished.
However, Dundee City Council responded to concerns on Friday by issuing a statement confirming that officials were seeking urgent talks with the property’s owners.
A spokesman said: “The council has been made aware of the situation. We are investigating and will discuss this with the owners as soon as possible.
“The process of gaining a demolition warrant under building standards is separate to that required under planning legislation to demolish a listed building.”
The local authority approved a building warrant for the demolition of the former jute works in April after it had sat derelict for decades.
Planning permission was granted to convert it into flats as part of a wider development in 2014. This would have seen the company Craigie Estates Ltd incorporate the facade and features into a modern block.
However, the development did not go ahead and the B-listed mill was condemned by council building standards officers.
The site owners applied for a building warrant to demolish the structure in its entirety in December last year.
It’s not clear what is planned to replace it.
Chairman of the Dundee Museum of Transport Jimmy McDonnell arrived on site on Friday afternoon in an attempt to save the iconic lettering which graced the building’s exterior for decades. Many of the letters had been left in piles of rubble during the demolition.
He described the demolition of the historic building as a “sad day for Dundee and its architectural history”.
Mr McDonnell added: “I saw the demolition team in there going hammer and tongs demolishing the building. I felt it was very sad that a part of Dundee’s heritage was being put under the hammer.
“I managed to rescue some odds and ends there to be passed on to the museum fraternity.”
Self-employed painter-decorator Neil Menzies of Barnhill travelled to the mill, where his father once worked, to see the demolition first-hand.
He described the decision to tear the building down as “beyond belief”.
The 48-year-old added: “I just think they are wrecking Dundee. I think a lot of people will be annoyed at the history of that building coming down.
“I think that is an important building. They’ve spent £15 million on that office unit (in front of the V&A). It is beyond belief that they are doing that to Dundee.”
Maryfield Labour representative Councillor Georgia Cruickshanks said: “It is a shame it was allowed to get to such a state where it has had to be pulled down.
“It has been some time, almost five years, since the original plans were approved at committee. Dundee is a city on the up and changes are taking place.”
Craigie Estates Ltd was approached for comment.