Leicester

Concern for listed Scraptoft Hall following fires

Scraptoft Hall, Leicestershire
Image caption Scraptoft Hall has suffered from numerous incidents of vandalism since this image was taken

Residents in a Leicestershire village have expressed growing concerns for the state of a vacant Grade II* listed building, following a spate of fires.

Four arson attacks have been reported at Scraptoft Hall, which is awaiting redevelopment, since 10 April.

Owners AMK Planning were awarded planning permission for 103 retirement homes in March but work is on hold due to lack of funding.

English Heritage lost an appeal against the development of the site.

Its concern that the scale of the proposed project was "fundamentally out of context" for the Baroque country house and its gardens, was overruled by previous Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, John Denham.

'Target for vandalism'

Campaigner Barry Gould from Scraptoft said: "[The site is] disgraceful - this is a concern for the residents of the village.

"It's become a dump. It's become a target for vandalism, the building's been stripped, the lead's been taken off the roof, it's open to the elements and it's deteriorating rapidly."

Mr Gould accused English Heritage of failing to protect the 18th Century mansion, claiming its appeal had delayed redevelopment.

However an English Heritage spokesperson said it was committed to protecting historic buildings for future generations to enjoy.

"The local planning authority is responsible for monitoring the condition of the buildings and we await commencement of the development."

Harborough District Council said it would discuss further security measures with the owners and conservation experts at a site meeting on 26 May.

AMK Planning was unavailable for comment.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites