Historic building declared fire safety hazard

Historic building declared fire safety hazard

AN AREA manager at Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) has shared concerns over ‘one of the most historic buildings’ in Blackburn, specifically relating to fire safety.

Lancashire Telegraph reported on the concerns from LFRS area manager Steven Morgan about Hornby House in the city, which has been given a prohibition notice. The four storey building is the birthplace of former England cricket and rugby captain Albert ‘Monkey’ Hornby, was formerly a bar, and has seen a ‘chequered history’ of late, with a previous bid to convert it into an arts and crafts hub, events space and boxing club failing in 2018.

Mr Morgan gave the building the prohibition notice due to a series of concerns, including ‘inadequate’ fire safety management provisions, fire separation, means of escape, of ‘giving warning in the event of a fire’ and for securing the means of escape’. The notice also states that the premises ‘can only be used by people undertaking remedial fire safety work’, and was served on one of the building’s owners Farzana Patel.

The news outlet noted that developers said ‘efforts are being made to rectify the problems’, and reported that the house has not only been leased but ‘could be given a fresh start as offices’. Its new leaseholder, who identified himself as ‘Waqas’ on being contacted, said that ‘a number’ of the problems outlined in the prohibition notice ‘had been addressed’.

Once any improvements have been made, the building would be marketed as offices, with Philip Davey, who had tried to set up a community interest company for the failed 2018 bid, stating: ‘It is a fine old building and it’s a shame we couldn’t get planning permission to do what we wanted there from the council.’

‘Waqas’ added in turn: ‘The fire safety system was not working, when we arrived, and the fire exits had been padlocked. The fire system has been replaced and the padlocks have been removed and fire doors have been fitted. The fire marshal will be coming next week and we expect him to lift the prohibition notice.’