Round-the-clock security reinstated at historic hotel to protect it from vandals
ACTION is being taken to try to prevent vandals breaking into a historic New Forest hotel and wrecking the ornate interior.
It follows a spate of incidents in which hooligans have destroyed a large number of fixtures and fittings.
The hotel, which dominates the eastern entrance to the village, closed in 2014 with the loss of more than 20 jobs.
As the complex continued to stand empty, vandals started smashing their way in and wrecking the rooms.
Two months ago conservationists said a priceless stained-glass window installed in the 19th century was among the items that had been destroyed.
Now more of the windows have been boarded up, including those on the upper floors .
In some cases metal sheeting or the original glass has been replaced with wood.
In a letter to Lyndhurst Parish Council, Police Inspector Katherine Willoughby says: My understanding is that PegasusLife withdrew the 24/7 security once the planning application had been declined.
We have requested that further security is put back on and that the premises are secured with more thorough boarding.
Parish councillors are waiting to see if PegasusLife will lodge an appeal against the NPA s decision or submit a revised scheme.
Speaking last month Grant Drummond, development director for the site, responded to concerns by saying the company was doing everything it could to protect the site.
He said: We are in regular contact with the police and have reported all break-ins that we ve become aware of.
Our security company has detained people on site and passed details of people and vehicles to the police and this has resulted in at least one arrest.
We re taking every practicable measure to minimise opportunities for unlawful access.
Asked about the latest attempts to protect the site a company spokesman said: We currently have 24/7 security with two guards and have installed a welfare unit for them.
A Hampshire Police spokesman added: We attended a partnership meeting about this issue and security at the site has been improved.
- ^ Lyndhurst (www.bournemouthecho.co.uk)
- ^ New Forest National Park Authority (www.newforestnpa.gov.uk)
- ^ New Forest District Council (www.nfdc.gov.uk)