Published: June 15, 2011
Safety fears for children seen playing in fire-hit Highbridge Hotel

Fresh concerns have been expressed about the safety of the fire-ravaged Highbridge Hotel this week after children were seen playing inside.

Highbridge district councillor Joe Leach told he is concerned that youngsters may be injured playing in the crumbling building, which is still clad in scaffolding since a huge fire in April 2008.

"Security at the hotel is abysmal and it is a concern that children are playing inside even though it remains in such a dangerous state," he said.

"The property is in a very fragile condition and security definitely needs to be tightened up."

Owner Derek Mead recently told there are no plans to renovate the building further in the short-term before a new owner is found.

"The property itself is secure, so no immediate work is needed," he confirmed. "There has been some interest in taking it on, even though the property market is still depressed. One company has looked closely at it for mixed use, so I am hopeful that a new owner will be found."

The former Highbridge Hotel has been derelict following a huge blaze in April 2008. The cattle market site at the rear of the building has also not been used for two years since the final market was held there in 2009.


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