Calls to secure Chesterfield's Brampton Manor after historic building devastated by ‘serious fire’ in arson attack

Residents are calling for an increase in security measures at Brampton Manor in Chesterfield after the historic building was devastated by fire in an arson attack.

Tuesday, 2nd August 2022, 12:47 pm
The old swimming pool sustained serious damage in the fire.
The old swimming pool sustained serious damage in the fire.

Emergency services were deployed to the 16th century Manor House site after vandals broke in and started a serious blaze on Saturday, July 30.

Flames ripped through the sports building, off Old Road, shortly before 2pm as four fire trucks and four police units attended the scene.

Chesterfield Town Centre Safer Neighbourhood Team has since shared pictures of the damage caused on Facebook, leading many to demand answers from the owners of the vacant complex over its security.

The old swimming pool sustained serious damage in the fire.

Rob Rees said: “The situation here was reported to your Derbyshire Police Headquarters weeks ago. Risk of fire, electrocution and ultimately death…. plus the affect on resources elsewhere. Nothing has been done so why does this not surprise us.”

Georgia Alexandra added: "They should have 24 hour security to stop this happening, the amount of times police have been called is ridiculous. They knew this was a risk, yet did nothing to save some pennies!”

Calum Wallwork said: “The fire escape door to where this happened has been open for months, the owners should take some of the blame for not securing the building properly, unfortunately I think it suits them to let this happen.”

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The old swimming pool sustained serious damage in the fire.

While Susan Cornthwaite added: “Not being funny but what do the council/ whoever in charge think is going to happen. Buildings are left derelict/ empty for ages with no proper secure fencing to keep people out.

“I know it doesn't justify it happening but some people get thrill from setting fires/causing damage.”

In December 2021, Chesterfield Borough Council’s planning committee gave permission to turn the existing Manor House into four apartments and the club house into a single apartment – while the barn will be transformed into three garages.

The venue was closed earlier this year to allow for redevelopment to begin however delays in the work have created a haven for anti-social behaviour in recent months, according to police.

The old swimming pool sustained serious damage in the fire.

They believed the fire was started deliberately and enquiries are ongoing to catch those responsible.

A spokesperson for Derbyshire Constabulary said: “We are aware of reports of anti-social behaviour at the sports complex near to Brampton Manor in recent months and have been working with the building’s owners, who have legal responsibility for securing the premises, and the council’s Community Safety Partnership to address these.

“The building was due for demolition some time ago, but unfortunately this work has been delayed.

“We will continue to work closely with the council and the owners and in the meantime have been speaking with local residents to educate them about the dangers of derelict buildings.

“Anyone with concerns about anti-social behaviour at the site is asked to report it to us.”

Further questions have been raised over what action Chesterfield Borough Council is taking to ensure the owners secure the vacant site against criminality.

The Derbyshire Times has approached the authority for comment and is awaiting a response.

HP General Partner Ltd, the site owner, has also been contacted for comment.