Darwen care home 'target for squatters and addicts'

Darwen care home 'target for squatters and addicts'

Building a target for squatters and addicts say angry neighbours

Darwen care home 'target for squatters and addicts'

First published in News Blackburn Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

NEIGHBOURS of a boarded-up former care home have called for action after an arson attack left it an eyesore.

The former Highfield House care home in Darwen was badly damaged in the fire on Monday.

The blaze, started in an upstairs bedroom, caused dramatic scenes in Sudell Road as residents watched flames billow out of the windows.

The care home shut in late 2012 after residents were left with no hot water or heating for three weeks. And neighbours, as well as ward councillors, have since called for the building’s owners to do something about it.

One neighbour said: “Since it closed we have had squatters and druggies using the building.

“It is a real shame because it is a nice building and it used to be a lovely care home.

“It is an eyesore now and we just want them to do something.”

Margaret Gent watched as the fire service launched a four-hour operation to put out the flames.

She said: “Everyone was out watching and the flames coming out and smoke were horrendous.”

Last year, there was a similar attack at the former Highfield Working Men’s Club in Ratcliffe Street.

Coun Chris Thayne said he had some concerns about arson in the area. He said: “It is always worrying that these things can trigger replication because people don’t sit down and think about the consequences “With the working men’s club we have been asking the council to put some pressure on the owners because there is a lot of incendiary material. The same can be said for the care home after this attack as it is important to make it as difficult as possible for people to cause such damage.”

Coun Thayne added that since Monday’s fire, the council’s environmental sustainability manager Stuart Hammond had confirmed he would ask the fire service to assess the risk of a repeat incident at the site.

Building owner Surjit Dhillon, chief of Dhillon Financial UK was unavailable for comment.

Comments (2)

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11:47am Wed 23 Apr 14

Angusam says...

There has been nothing but trouble at the Highfield Working Mens club since it closed and burnt down this was also another Arson attack that occured over the bank holiday weekend in 2013 and was sadly done by suspected youths.

Although Highfield House is just around the corner, I do understand how the local neighbours and local community feel about this as this was a lovely old building and was the old Vicarage at one time I believe? How things on this Street have gone downhill in recent years. And it could be bought back up to previous standards if we pull together and make a stand.

I am going through exactly the same thing being near the Highfield Club and have suffered the full effects of what a derilict building attracts. Anti Social Behvior, Criminal Damage, ect.

The sad thing is that most of the anti social behavior is done by local youth's in the area who couldn't care less about basic respect for ones neighbours and their own community. Sadly this is down to bad parenting.

Enough is enough and I will be contacting Coun Thayne myself and encourage other neighbours who feel the same to also contact him on 01254 704 746 after all he is our Councillor for Marsh House.

We need to see what else can be done as the current local owners of Perry Street have just left the Highfield Club to Rott and couldn't care less about what the local community has to go through because of their inability to put the building back into use and don't seem to want to demolish it.

I have heard that there are plans to use it as an Islamic Education Centre and Mosque, quite Frankly this would be better than just leaving it as it is.

What will also become of Highfield House? Lets hope they both don't burn again we need to feel safer in our community as this is unacceptable.
There has been nothing but trouble at the Highfield Working Mens club since it closed and burnt down this was also another Arson attack that occured over the bank holiday weekend in 2013 and was sadly done by suspected youths. Although Highfield House is just around the corner, I do understand how the local neighbours and local community feel about this as this was a lovely old building and was the old Vicarage at one time I believe? How things on this Street have gone downhill in recent years. And it could be bought back up to previous standards if we pull together and make a stand. I am going through exactly the same thing being near the Highfield Club and have suffered the full effects of what a derilict building attracts. Anti Social Behvior, Criminal Damage, ect. The sad thing is that most of the anti social behavior is done by local youth's in the area who couldn't care less about basic respect for ones neighbours and their own community. Sadly this is down to bad parenting. Enough is enough and I will be contacting Coun Thayne myself and encourage other neighbours who feel the same to also contact him on 01254 704 746 after all he is our Councillor for Marsh House. We need to see what else can be done as the current local owners of Perry Street have just left the Highfield Club to Rott and couldn't care less about what the local community has to go through because of their inability to put the building back into use and don't seem to want to demolish it. I have heard that there are plans to use it as an Islamic Education Centre and Mosque, quite Frankly this would be better than just leaving it as it is. What will also become of Highfield House? Lets hope they both don't burn again we need to feel safer in our community as this is unacceptable. Angusam
  • Score: 17

8:29pm Wed 23 Apr 14

happycyclist says...

That area is overrun with scum and vermin.
That area is overrun with scum and vermin. happycyclist
  • Score: -1

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