Late-nightt arson attack on empty pub
AN empty pub was subject to a late-night arson attack for the second time in less than four months, as the wait goes on for it to be turned into flats.
The Lord Campbell pub, in Alexandra Road, was found ablaze at around 2am on Monday night, with the main building this time suffering severe damage.
Firefighters from Rushmoor fire station tackled the flames in the first floor and roof space of the pub using three pumps, three jets and three hose reels, as well as an aerial ladder platform.
The fire was classed as ‘cause doubtful’, meaning that it is likely that it was started deliberately.
Arron Jepp, of white watch, said: “The public house has been derelict for more than a year and this is the second fire there.
“It was badly damaged, the whole of the first floor and the roof was completely damaged.”
The previous fire was in April, when outbuildings behind the pub were totally destroyed by suspected arson- ists. Evidence such as human excrement and drug paraphernalia was found inside the outbuildings, suggesting that they had been used by squatters.
The Lord Campbell has been empty since July last year after its licence was revoked following police complaints about drug-taking and under-age drinking.
This was just days after permission to demolish it and turn it into flats was granted by Rushmoor Borough Council’s development control committee. A neighbour of the building, who lives close by in Perowne Street and asked to remain anonymous, said he and other residents were hoping the building’s future would be resolved quickly to prevent further incidents like this.
“I was woken up at about 2am when the fire engines arrived and saw the flames coming out the roof,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of problems and it must be losing money all the time.”
A ladder was found in the pub grounds that was thought to have been used by the squatters to enter a window at the side of the pub.
Zyntax Chartered Architects, which submitted the application for the flats on behalf of building owner King Tatla, was aware of the fire and said that some planning conditions were currently being agreed with the council.
Once these are ironed out, the pub could be demolished within the next month to allow work to begin.
Lord Campbell pub after a second suspected arson attack early on July 29.
The fire at the Lord Campbell in Aldershot at about 11.30pm on April 13.