When derelict buildings go to blazes – May 2017

The first May Bank Holiday weekend saw a major fire on the outskirts of Ipswich.
The crews of four fire engines fought a 14-hour battle to get a blaze under control in what is a built-up area off Hadleigh Road.
The crews were frustrated in their attempts by the number of needles and syringes littering the building.
We understand that the police aren’t – as yet – involved in the investigation process. But the number of needles on the site, and the story told by local residents, would lead anyone to believe it was being occupied – to some degree – for unacceptable purposes.
Nobody wins in a situation like this.
It’s a waste of important resources having to deal with a fire – even one that’s in a building that’s most likely earmarked for demolition. (The previous home of Manganese Bronze has been empty for some years and developers are seeking to building 128 houses and a 60 bed care home on the site. We understand that planning permission has yet to be granted by Ipswich Borough and Babergh District councils.)
Had the site been adequately protected and secured, trespass and resulting damage could well have been prevented. A regular inspection could have highlighted what was going on and steps could have been taken to remedy the situation, says our property management expert, Paul Keen.
He says that inevitably there are occasions when commercial property is empty. Sometimes it’s just for days between lettings, but often it can be for longer and then a building can become a magnet for trouble.
Paul said: “It’s often when landlords and land owners are not on the spot and only visit occasionally that issues arise. In our experience, it’s necessary to do regular checks and take immediate action. Damaged perimeter fencing and signs of break-in are the early signs that all is not well!
“While we’re very pleased to hear that nobody was injured, the story could so easily have been different. Incidents like this threaten life and cause serious concern to local neighbours, both business and residents.
“This building had obviously fallen into serious disrepair, but similar problems can arise even in newer and more commercially valuable premises. In such cases the outcome can be catastrophic with huge financial damage, let alone damage to business reputation and confidence.”

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Vanessa Penn

About Vanessa Penn

Vanessa Penn was formerly Director of Commercial Agency for Countrywide Commercial, Bradford & Bingley and Douglas Duff part of Erinaceous Plc. Vanessa now runs her own agency Penn Commercial located in Ipswich, Suffolk www.penncommercial.co.uk. Penn Commercial boasts a number of local, regional and national clients and has formed an excellent and loyal client base.
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