Farm blaze may have been caused by fire to keep workers warm


A blaze which badly damaged an ancient farm building at Thelwall, Warrington, may have been caused by a wood fire, used by workers to dry their clothes and keep warm.

Following a site visit by a member of Warrington Civic Society site workers confirmed that a small wood fire had been used for about the last 7 months to keep the farm house warm for drying their work clothes and keeping warm.

This had apparently also been regularly left lit overnight.

The barns are centered around a historic farm house on the edge of the village conservation area. Despite objections from local councillors planners approved proposals for the barns to be converted into country homes with four new homes in the grounds.

The farm house is believed to date back to the mid-1700s and is believed to be the last remaining smallholding in the village, but it has not been used as a working farm for 80 years.

Firefighters were called to the building at around 8am on Tuesday morning.

Four fire engines attended a fire in the roof space.Firefighters used a hose reel and a main jet to put out the fire in the building which measured approximately 15 metres by 20 metres. A butane gas cylinder was removed as a precaution.

Police attended to control traffic at the junction of Bell Lane and the A56 Stockport Road, which was closed for much of the day.

Bell Lane fire


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Experienced journalist for more than 40 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with three in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

1 Comment

  1. Condition 14) of the planning consent states “The outbuilding to the west of Dolphin Cottage (referred to as “outbuilding” on Drawing No. 0614-P-02 Site Survey Plan) shall be retained. No development shall take place until a scheme for the repair/restoration of the outbuilding has been submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority. The outbuilding shall be used only for a use(s) that is ancillary to the primary use of the land as a dwelling house and shall be permanently retained in accordance with the approved repair/restoration scheme.”
    All of which begs the question, why work on site was ongoing and allowed to do so when that condition had not been discharged? Particularly so in view of the position of these old existing buildings to a local conservation area. And all the more so in view of their age, heritage value and WBC’s abysmal record of failing to protect the proud heritage of the borough.
    It’s funny isn’t it that so many valued barns and aged buildings, many in extreme stages of dilapidation, have been successfully converted across the whole of Cheshire, yet some of those in Warrington, in a much sounder condition, somehow seem to suddenly collapse or become unsafe for no apparent reason? If it transpires the developer was allowing workers to use the existing buildings as a drying room…..

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