28th Jun, 2022

Fire at Coventry's Brandon Speedway Stadium set to be investigated after blaze was confirmed as arson

Coventry Editorial 18th May, 2022

A FIRE which broke out at Brandon Stadium, Rugby Road, on Friday night is being treated as arson, Warwickshire Police have confirmed.

Picture by Jeff Davies. s

The blaze started around 7pm and, Rugby Road was closed, as five crews from Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service attended the scene.

They fought the flames at the heavily smoke-logged three-storey building.

Such was the amount of smoke billowing out from the stadium, residents in the surrounding area were told to keep their doors and windows closed.

Water had to be drawn from a hydrant on the main road with Severn Trent warning the local community to expect low water pressure and possible discolouring.

The scale of the fire, which is believed to have started around the office area of the main grandstand, is by far the largest and most serious since the stadium was closed by owners Brandon Estates at the end of the 2016 season.

Picture by Jeff Davies. s

Last month the Save Coventry Speedway and Stox Campaign Group submitted an alternative planning application.

The consultation has just ended for the ‘masterplan’ which would see the stadium reinstated with enhanced facilities for the local community, including provision for the under-stand bar to be converted into a gymnasium.

Those behind the plan said early indications indicated more than 90 per cent of the local community supported the application, in contrast to widespread opposition to the owners’ plans to redevelop the site for housing.

A campaign group spokesman said: “This latest fire was in close proximity to houses in Speedway Lane and residents were understandably concerned and very angry.

“Like previous fires, traveller incursions and vandalism at the stadium, this has been enabled by the abject failure by the owners, Investin PLC / Brandon Estates, to secure the site.”

Picture by Jeff Davies. s

He added he felt the owners under-estimated the opposition to the plans and the campaign group’s resolve.

He criticised the owners and said the site should have been made more secure, claiming a random afternoon visit revealed at least 11 people, including drone fliers, inside.

The campaign group said it had received confirmation from the Chief Fire Officer Ben Brook that a thorough investigation would be conducted into the likely cause and preventative measures would be examined to reduce future fires at the stadium.

The group has also sent photographs of the fire and resultant damage to the owners.

Warwickshire Police has urged anyone with information on Friday’s fire to call officers on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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