Delays to demolish building for care home plans after large fire

Firefighters on scene of a fire that broke out overnight at the derelict Oasis Sports and Leisure Club in Thorpe St Andrew

Firefighters on scene of a fire that broke out overnight at the derelict Oasis Sports and Leisure Club in Thorpe St Andrew - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

The owner of a derelict building which recently went up in flames is hoping permission will be granted to demolish the site.

Multiple fire crews were called out to Thorpe St Andrew around 6.30pm on Saturday, April 9 after the former Oasis Sports and Leisure Club in Pound Lane was ablaze. 

The fire service treated it as arson which brought back memories of a similar incident taking place at the site in December 2019

Fire crews on scene the morning after the fire at the former Oasis Sports and Leisure Club in Thorpe St Andrew

Fire crews on scene the morning after the fire, which devastated the roof of the Oasis Sports and Leisure Club in Pound Lane, Thorpe St Andrew - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

A spokeswoman for Norfolk Police said enquiries are ongoing into last month's fire. 

And the current owner of the former leisure centre, Andre Serruys, hopes to receive consent for demolition as soon as possible from Broadland District Council.

This is with a view to a planning application submitted by Suffolk care company Carlton Hall Village for 24 assisted bungalows, 20 assisted flats, management offices and a café. 

The blaze at the former Oasis Sports and Leisure Club pictured on Saturday night.

The fire was seen from afar for those living in Thorpe St Andrew - Credit: Norwich Print Solutions

Mr Serruys said: "The demolition of the building is integral to the planning consent. No demolition may take place until the consent is issued.

"Upon receipt of the consent the demolition will take place as a priority."

Thorpe St Andrew county councillor Ian Mackie (Cons) said: “The recent fire has undoubtedly made this site unsafe. Therefore it makes sense to approve consent for demolition to prevent misadventure.

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"Sadly, however in Thorpe we have seen many historical buildings lost because development has not begun as quickly as possible or to the planning consent, and they have attracted anti-social behaviour whilst empty, and in many cases have been sadly damaged beyond all repair.”

Cllr Ian Mackie, Broadland District Councillor, Thorpe St Andrew North West.

County councillor Ian Mackie - Credit: Ian Mackie

John Fisher (Cons), county and district councillor for Thorpe St Andrew added: "It does make sense to demolish the building to prevent further arson attacks, hassle and expense to the fire service." 

John Fisher, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for children's services. Pic: Norfolk County Coun

County and district councillor John Fisher - Credit: Norfolk County Council

A spokesman for Broadland District Council said the planning application has been held up by Natural England's fears over river pollution which means developers across the country have been left in limbo.

He added: "We have not been informed that the building is unsafe, but if we are we will act accordingly." 

The sale of the site from Mr Serruys to Tony Prendergast, of Carlton Hall Village, has also been delayed by the nutrient neutrality planning issue.