title="Chalfont St Giles Parish Council in Buckinghamshire">

Local NewsMon, 25th January 2021

News  »  Miltons Head Fire

   Miltons Head Fire    10 October, 2017

Milton’s Head Fire

At 1.21am on Thursday 18 May 2017 a fire broke out at the Miltons Head Public House in Deanway, Chalfont St Giles.

Two fire appliances and crews from Beaconsfield, one from Amersham, one from High Wycombe, one from Maidenhead and three officers attended. Firefighters used two main jets, two hose reels, four sets of breathing apparatus and a thermal imaging camera. The roof of the two storey-building was 80 per cent damaged by fire, the first floor was 50 per cent damaged by fire and the ground floor was 40 per cent damaged by water.

The police allocated a crime reference number CN 43170143240, officer in charge of the case is Faye Aspinall. This reference is for a suspected arson.

The Parish Council:

  • Passed to the police what we believed to be significant information regarding the days prior to the suspected arson.
    • Currently there is not enough evidence to support suspected arson.
  • Forwarded information to Chiltern District Council Environmental Services regarding the reported removal of asbestos roofing panels prior to the fire.
    • This is currently being investigated
  • Contacted the Tree and Landscape officer at Chiltern District Council to complain about the unauthorised removal of trees near a conservation area.
    • The response received was ‘Although views in and out of a Conservation Area are considered to be important, the Conservation Area restrictions on tree work would only apply to trees actually within a Conservation Area.  Consequently the tree work you mentioned would not have required permission.’
  • Contacted the Planning Enforcement Team at Chiltern District Council to let them know about the destruction of the building
    • The response received was as follows: “The Planning Enforcement Team at Chiltern have actively investigated local concerns in respect of the potential demolition of Miltons Head.  The Enforcement team do take breaches of planning control very seriously, but in this case planning permission is not required to demolish the building.
      Whilst local residents’ concerns for the future of the site are fully appreciated, planning permission is not normally required to demolish a building provided the building is not listed or within a Conservation Area, such works can generally be undertaken as “permitted development” under Part 11, Class B of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 subject to compliance with certain limitations and conditions as set out in the Order.
      In respect of this particular property Chiltern District Council has not made an article 4 direction restricting the permitted development rights that apply to demolition.  Furthermore, the property is not a statutory listed building and indeed not assessed to be worthy of listing, it is not located within a conservation area nor is it an asset of community value. Information has been submitting by the owner in terms of the structural soundness of the building and Building Control have been consulted.  The demolition of the building can therefore be undertaken as “permitted development” and does not require a formal application to be submitted under the planning legislation.  A separate consent would be required under Building Regulations.
      In terms of any future redevelopment of the site, this would be subject to planning control and a planning application would be required.  To clarify further should the owner wish to reconstruct the original building he will need planning permission to do so. Once the building is demolished it does not automatically follow that planning permission would be granted to build any replacement structure or structures, or to change the use of the site.  Any replacement development would be subject to planning control and assessed against relevant planning policies and other material considerations, which would include the impact on the setting of the Conservation Area as well as the amenity of local residents and any highway considerations.”
  • Purchased the Fire Investigation Report to understand the causes of the fire and the condition of the building post fire. Buckinghamshire Fire Service Incident Report.
  • Made a freedom of information request to Chiltern District Council asking to see the structural report (submitted by the property owner) of the Miltons Head after the fire. (Update - A copy of the report is now held by the Parish Council and can be viewed here.)
  • Created a petition to Chiltern District Council to prevent the change of use of the site of the Miltons Head.

The Parish Council have been working behind the scenes to avoid the loss of part of our valued and historic street scene.

If you have any information that could help the police with their enquiries into the suspected arson please call 101 and give crime reference CN 43170143240 along with your information.

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