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Probe launched into fire club’s mysterious owner

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: October 21, 2013

  • 20/10/13 Fire - Church Gresley WMC, Wilmot Rd,, Church Gresley Fire at Church Gresley Working Mens Club on Wilmot Rd

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AN investigation has been launched to establish who owns a derelict community centre which has been gutted in a fire.

South Derbyshire District Council has vowed to work out who owns the Church Gresley Memorial Institute, in York Road, after the club caught fire on Sunday morning.

It is thought the fire had been started deliberately

A spokesman from the district council told the Mail: “We are actively pursuing information to establish the ownership of the building so that its future can be determined.”

The club has become a regular target for vandals who have broken into the club’s main building and smashed the interior after it closed in mysterious circumstances three years ago.

Committee members said at the time the move was only temporary but years of antisocial behaviour means the once popular club has become an eyesore on a main gateway into Swadlincote.

Trevor Southerd, who represents Church Gresley on Derbyshire County Council, said he would support the building being torn down if no plans to transform club were proposed.

He said: “We have got people living behind it which makes it a worry.

“It’s not in the remit of the councils to say it needs to be pulled down, any investigation will be into the committee which is responsible for it.

“But I would support it being torn down if no one came forward with a proposal which would benefit the community.

“It would need a strong business plan but if there’s nothing coming forward then it needs to go.”

The district council spokesman also said its building control team carried out an assessment of the building following the blaze.

He said: “It was discovered the fire occurred in the kitchen area and that a small proportion of the building was damaged.”

The building has now been secured.

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