Gosport building hit by fire ‘should be knocked down’

AFTERMATH The site of the fire in Gosport.
AFTERMATH The site of the fire in Gosport.
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CALLS have been to make a derelict building safe after it was destroyed in a fire.

A blaze ripped through a building on the former Royal Sailors’ Rest Family Centre site, in Grange Lane, Rowner, Gosport, on Sunday night.

FIRE The site in Gosport ablaze. Picture: Portchester Fire Station

FIRE The site in Gosport ablaze. Picture: Portchester Fire Station

The cause is not known, but arson has not been ruled out. It took 56 firefighters more than four hours to put the fire out.

Rowner and Holbrook councillor Michael Lane said: ‘It’s disappointing that the site has lain as an inappropriate attraction to people who might want to go and play there or be at risk there.

‘We’re trying to get permission from building control.

‘There’s a full process to go through, to declare that it is unsafe.

‘The back of the building, immediately opposite the Crossley Centre, as far as I’m concerned, ought to be knocked down now. That’s a process I’ve been involved in this week.

‘I’d like the site to be made safer today, and that’s in hand.’

As previously reported, the building was hit by fire on March 24 last year and owner British Developments Ltd said it would work to make the site secure it.

Dr Shaik Akba Basha, director of the firm, said then that he would discuss the cost and possibility of knocking down the building with Gosport Borough Council.

The News was unable to contact Dr Basha yesterday.

Party-goers in the nearby Crossley Community Centre had spotted the fire and called 999 on Sunday night.

The blaze has destroyed the flat roof brick single-storey building.

Firefighters used five jets, and an aerial ladder platform while fighting the fire.

Around 20 nearby properties had their power cut by electricity suppliers. Crews were withdrawn as parts of the building collapsed. Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said it was not investigating as it was in a derelict building.