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Vandals link probe at Suffolk fire

PUBLISHED: 06:20 29 December 2001 | UPDATED: 15:22 03 March 2010

AN investigation was launched last night after a fire broke out at a redundant football ground that has been systematically destroyed by vandals.

A 50-yard-long storage building and its contents at the back of covered terracing at the disused Sudbury Town ground went up in flames yesterday afternoon.

AN investigation was launched last night after a fire broke out at a redundant football ground that has been systematically destroyed by vandals.

A 50-yard-long storage building and its contents at the back of covered terracing at the disused Sudbury Town ground went up in flames yesterday afternoon.

Four fire crews brought the blaze under control, just in time to save two mobile homes parked close to the structure.

Last night a club official said keeping the Priory Stadium secure from vandals had proved a nightmare since the last game was played there three years ago.

Director Danny Crosbie said in that time Sudbury Town - which is now part of the new AFC Sudbury set-up playing at the former ground of Sudbury Wanderers - had been frustrated in its attempts to see the site cleared because of delays in getting planning permission for homes.

He added: "In the last few days development firm Fairview has submitted revised plans to Babergh District Council and we just hope this latest scheme will finally get the council's blessing.

"Resolving the future of the site has been a frustrating saga and, at the same time, we have been facing a nightmare fighting a losing battle trying to keep out vandals.

"The former clubhouse and changing rooms are now a wrecked shell. From the kinds of things that are left behind, it is evident the building is being used for all sorts of undesirable purposes.

"Until this latest fire, the storeroom at the back of the covered terracing had been secure and I had a few things of my own left in there. I doubt it they will be any use after this latest incident."

Fire crews from Sudbury, Long Melford, Clare and Nayland were called to the blaze at 2.30pm yesterday by a man living near the ground.

Station Officer Terry Baker, of Suffolk Fire Service, said the entire store shed and its contents, including a mower and a roller, had been severely affected by the blaze.

"The wooden uprights supporting the back of the stand were affected by the fire and I have called in a surveyor from Babergh District Council to advise on the condition of the structure. It may be the rest of terracing cover will have to come down as a safety measure," he added.

Suffolk police and fire investigation experts have launched a probe into the cause of the fire.


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