A prominent Victorian house in Swadlincote, which has been abandoned for years, is just weeks away from demolition after the site was sold to a property developer.

Amco Developments is eager to bulldoze Eureka Lodge, off Newhall Road due to its dangerous state. It would mean the end of the line for the house which was built in the 1890s by industrialist John Wragg, who ran both pottery kilns and pipeworks in Swadlincote.

More than a year after South Derbyshire District Council gave Mitre Residential LLP permission to tear down the former home and build 14 bungalows on the site, the site has now been sold to North Yorkshire-based Amco Developments.

The property development company specialises in office, leisure and retail developments.

The once grand residence which boasted 11 bedrooms, five chimneys and an 18ft by 10ft stained-glass window and stables, has been reduced to a sad state, a structural report has revealed.

Eureka Lodge pictured in its former glory

A report previously commissioned on the house stated there has been "significant water ingress to the first floor and ground floor ceilings, weakening the timber roof structure, vandalism and pigeon nesting are evident".

The report went on to say many rooms have been stripped and dry rot within timbers was evident. Cracks and mould were noted on ceilings and walls. The roof tiling and flashing has been removed and partial collapse of the roof had happened at the back of the premises.

Guttering was blocked and had been removed in places causing damage to external walls. Replacement of much of the internal structure to the first floor and roof construction would be necessary and external brickwork would require remedial attention.'

The house was in the news again after police had been called in numerous times following reports of children trespassing into the building while youngsters were telling ghost stories.

The home was added to South Derbyshire District Council's list of buildings of historic and architectural interest, safeguarding the 19th century house's future, but did not achieve listed status.

But despite its important part in Swadlincote history, a Heritage Statement concludes the building does not have significant architectural merit and is beyond economic repair.

The borough council previously said of the property: "The significance of the building is acknowledged to be of local importance, however, it could be argued its significance has been greatly diminished by the introduction of a succession of modern residential developments within its setting. It is an isolated site with no main road frontage and has been derelict and subject to constant vandalism for years.

"The opportunity to designate it as a heritage asset has passed, being considered not worthy of listing in 2002. Its state of repair has precluded any viable use for a long period of time. On balance, therefore, the harm attributed to its loss is considered to be outweighed by the economic and social benefits of a provision of 14 homes in a highly sustainable location."

The latest application is one of a long list of plans submitted since the home closed for good in 1996. It has only had three residents, retaining many of its original features, and had been used as a children's nursery.

In 1999, a plan was submitted to turn it into a care home for the elderly and a day nursery. In 2003 plans were granted to build five homes on the site, although the main house was not included in the application.

The next application in 2004 included plans to convert the house in six flats with an extension to two flats and an apartment block of three flats. Then in 2015 an application to convert the lodge into five homes and build 15 new homes was withdrawn.

In 2004, a petition with 1,000 signatures urged property developers not to bulldoze the house.

The developers will now have to pay £34,197.03 to Derbyshire County Council to enable Belmont Primary School to set up to two classrooms, as well as £2,600 for The National Forest Company as part of the deal for planning permission being granted.

The plans prompted four objections from people asking why the lodge needed to be demolished if it had a new roof and has been boarded up, while another objector said: "It would be a great shame to lose fabulous architecture which has historic value to the town to build new properties with no personality or character."

Eureka Lodge as a nursery

Burton Mail reporter Helen Kreft has fond memories of Eureka Lodge having attended its nursery school in the late 1980s. She said: "I went there when I was very young but I can still remember its grand entrance leading straight into the main nursery room which was huge.

"Well, to a three-year-old it would have been huge. It was big enough to put a large climbing frame with slide straight in the middle of the room. It was a big open space and had lots of land around the site - perfect for picnics.

"It will be sad to see it go, not because it has held happy memories for me, but because of its incredible history in Swadlincote and I cannot believe it has never been Listed."