Former sports and social club targeted in arson attack

Firefighters and police responded to a fire at the former Ball Haye Sports and Social Club in Leek on Saturday evening, now confirmed as an arson attack.

The disused building, which had stood on Ball Haye Green since 1898 and was formerly known as the Ball Haye Green Working Men’s Club, has been the focus of recent controversy due to redevelopment plans.

Authorities were alerted to the blaze around 7pm on April 27, with Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service quickly on the scene to extinguish the fire.

The incident has prompted a police investigation, with officials treating the fire as deliberate and issuing a call for witnesses.

The club, which saw its operations cease in 2016 after a series of ownership changes following its liquidation in 2006, has been in a state of disrepair for several years.

In 2021, proposals were introduced to redevelop the site, including building houses on the adjacent football pitch, with applications still under consideration by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council.

A recent application highlighted the building’s dilapidated condition, noting it was “deemed a danger to the public” by the council, “beyond repair,” and lacking basic utilities.

Staffordshire Police are urging anyone with information, CCTV, or dashcam footage that could aid their investigation to come forward.

A spokesman for Staffordshire Police said: “We are appealing for information following a deliberate fire at a derelict pub. We went to Ball Haye Green, in Leek, following reports of the fire. Firefighters from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service were already there at the time. The fire was extinguished and later deemed to have been caused deliberately. Anyone with any information, CCTV or dashcam footage that could help us with our inquiries is asked to contact us.”

Witnesses can contact the force by calling 101 and quoting incident number 602 of April 27, or anonymously through Crimestoppers at 0800 555111.

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