Gutted pub being demolished

PUBLISHED: 09:50 07 March 2008 | UPDATED: 21:27 26 October 2009

The ruins of the Chieftain

The ruins of the Chieftain

A PUB destroyed by arsonists is being torn down due to safety fears. The Chieftain in Cole Green Lane, WGC, was left a gutted shell after flames ripped through it on Friday evening last week. Fire investigators yesterday ruled the blaze was started delibe

The pub is being torn down due to safety fears

A PUB destroyed by arsonists is being torn down due to safety fears.

The Chieftain in Cole Green Lane, WGC, was left a gutted shell after flames ripped through it on Friday evening last week.

Fire investigators yesterday ruled the blaze was started deliberately.

Now workmen are in the process of knocking down the ruins as the structure has been deemed "unsafe".

Mick Harvey, building control officer at Welwyn Hatfield Council, said: "It had to come down, it couldn't be left in that state.

"It was dangerous and the 24-hour security could not continue. Kids have tried to break in since the incident."

He added: "I presume the incident has been very costly for McMullen's.

"I doubt that their insurance would pay for a new building to be built on the same site. Perhaps if they could have kept the building up then the insurance would have covered it."

Peter Furness-Smith, managing director of the brewery, told the WHT that its plans for a new, smaller pub and housing would not be affected by the fire.

He said: "This doesn't change anything, the fire doesn't make any difference.

"We made the decision to close, our application is going ahead as planned."

Two proposals submitted by McMullen's have already been refused due to over-development and being out of keeping with the character of the surrounding area.

A third application was on hold pending further information and will now go through the usual planning processes.


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