Ruined Heckmondwike house torched

SAD: The empty Forrest Hall, which has become a target for arsonists and vandals, was once a beautiful family home, according to neighbours.

SAD: The empty Forrest Hall, which has become a target for arsonists and vandals, was once a beautiful family home, according to neighbours.

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A DERELICT house which was torched is a prime target for vandals and arsonists, say neighbours.

Forrest Hall, in Longfield Road, Heckmondwike, was set alight at about 1pm on Tuesday.

Firefighters fought the blaze inside the building for an hour and a half and are investigating the cause.

A couple living near the house said it was often set on fire, and children often played in the dangerous building.

Gary Newton said: “It has been empty about three and a half years. A family used to live there with two children.

“The owner is trying to get planning permission to build homes in the grounds.

“Children have set it on fire a few times.

“People have taken the lead off the roof and taken slates – there is a hole in the roof.

Mr Newton said the house had been boarded up after Tuesday’s fire – but the boards had been taken back off the door again by Wednesday.

His wife Angela said: “On Tuesday you could just see smoke coming out of the side of the building.

“It used to be a beautiful house. There are always problems there now.

“I would love to see it go back to being a family home but I can’t see that happening because it’s wrecked inside.”

In 2010 Mr A Davy applied to Kirklees Council to build 11 homes with garages, and for alterations to the existing house, but the plans were turned down because ‘they would not be well integrated or complement the local area’.