Battle lines are being drawn in Sutton Bridge in a bid to save an iconic hotel from the bulldozers.
The Bridge Hotel has been repeatedly trashed by vandals and squatters over the last few years, but Coun Rowe would like to see it restored to its former glory and once again become the village flagship.
It’s not a listed building but it is of historic interest and it would be a shame to see it demolished.Coun Jenny Rowe
There’s been a new spate of vandalism at the hotel and police are stepping up their action to stop people going inside.
Police put up warning notices on Tuesday evening – threatening squatters and intruders with arrest – and Coun Rowe is urging the public to support the police action by reporting any incidents they see.
Coun Rowe said intruders, mostly young people, are going inside in twos and threes.
She said: “One resident has heard that raves are going to be held in the hotel, but I don’t know how true that is.
“Last Thursday night there were lights on in the hotel, above the bar area, so there’s obviously still electricity in there.
“There’s broken glass everywhere and there’s great shards of glass hanging in the upstairs windows. People are just going in willy nilly.”
Coun Rowe has had it confirmed by South Holland District Council’s development manager, Richard Fidler, that talks have been held “relating to preliminary ideas for the Bridge Hotel” and that demolition is a possible option.
She says the hotel would have been a key part of a proposed conservation area under district council plans, but those were shelved about ten years ago when a council officer left his job.
“English Heritage gave a £70,000 grant to the hotel some years ago,” she said. “It’s not a listed building but it is of historic interest and it would be a shame to see it demolished.”
• Police inspector Jo Reeves said: “A closure notice has been issued on Bridge Hotel, Sutton Bridge, to prevent the premises being used for the purposes of crime and anti-social behaviour.
“The issuing of the closure notice then allows us to seek a closure order from the court to ensure the building cannot be used for these purposes in the forthcoming months.
“Persons found on the premises at the time of the closure notice have been removed from the location. We are asking the local community to assist us by reporting all suspicious activity at the premises.”