Huge derelict site blaze blamed on arsonists

FIRE: Former Latvian Consulate, Park Hall Road, Charnock Richard
FIRE: Former Latvian Consulate, Park Hall Road, Charnock Richard
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Arsonists have been blamed for a huge blaze in a former Latvian consulate building near Chorley.

Fire crews were called to reports that Pemberton House Farm, on Park Hall Road, Charnock Richard, was on fire, at around 4pm on Saturday.

We’ve known there have been youths seen going in and out. If it is in that state, it will have to be demolished.

Allan Shaw

The blaze quickly spread across the huge house and the roof collapsed. Firefighters extinguished the inferno after being contacted by a passer-by, but were still on site on Sunday as the area still needed dampening out.

The 7.5 hectare site, on the edge of Heskin and across the road from the former Camelot Theme Park, has been derelict for a number of years.

Last year, plans to transform it into a 42-bedroom rehabilitation centre were thrown out by Chorley Council over greenbelt issues.

Stocks Hall Care Homes wanted to turn the site into a Priory-style unit.

The company had already downsized the facility and changed the type of mental health patients it would treat – to those with eating disorders, depression and stress, for example.

And it scrapped originally proposed treatments for drug or sexual behavioural 
issues.

Allan Shaw, chairman of Charnock Richard Parish Council, said yesterday he was not aware of the fire, but added: “We’ve known there have been youths seen going in and out. If it is in that state, it will have to be demolished.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen as far as the planning application for a rehabilitation centre. They’ve not come back.

“Something has got to be done with it, and now it’s burned down it’s got to a state where something has to be done.”