13 FEB 2017

Calling for clean-up of site destroyed by fatal fire

I am calling for a Dover town centre site to be cleaned up 40 years after it was destroyed in a fatal fire.

The Bench Street building, formerly known as The Crypt, was erected in 1840. There were bars and restaurants on the lower floors and residential accommodation upstairs.

That was until tragedy struck on March 27, 1977, when seven people died after a devastating fire ripped through the four-storey building. Since then the shell has been left to decay in the heart of Dover town centre.

For decades the former Crypt site has been left to ruin. It's high time this area was cleaned up.

Work on the exciting St James scheme continues. Yet we must make sure Dovorians can be proud of every corner of the town centre. We need to build a better future for Dover and I have been urging the council to take action.

I wrote to Dover District Council, calling for work to begin soon. They said the owner will take down the scaffolding before a general tidying-up.

According to DDC, Historic England will then likely launch a consultation over The Crypt's future use.


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Charlie Elphicke

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