Vandals’ £50,000 of damage to Ottery St Mary’s Salston Manor

Salston Manor. Ref sho 5084-37-14TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Salston Manor. Ref sho 5084-37-14TI. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Police warn trespassers to stay out of ‘dangerous’ site for their own safety

Vandals have caused an estimated £50,000 worth of damage in the last year at Salston Manor - prompting owners to ramp up security to ‘protect Ottery’s heritage’.

The Grade II listed building has been repeatedly targeted in recent months and police issued a warning this week for trespassers to keep out of the ‘dangerous’ site for their own safety, writes Eleanor Pipe.

Long-awaited restoration work is now under way on the derelict former hotel, but the project manager revealed conservation efforts are being hindered by vandals who have smashed valuable doors and fixtures and destroyed irreplaceable glass.

He said the building’s owners have organised for 24-hour guards and high-quality CCTV to deter people from entering.

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Sergeant Pete Boorn, of Ottery’s neighbourhood policing team, said: “We are asking parents to stop their kids going there - it’s a dangerous place for them to be hanging out.

“We are concerned about kids injuring themselves going in there.

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“They do not know what they’re going into.

“There is high-quality CCTV and anyone identified will be dealt with by the police.”

The project manager for Salston Manor Developments Limited said: “The owners are investing in these security measures in order to protect our heritage.

“Salston Manor is a Grade II listed building and maintaining the conservation element is paramount to the developers. Acts of vandalism like this are not helping the cause.

“We had one incident where a group came and brought their own tools with them and cut through one of our door frames, behind it found a beautiful, old locked door and smashed it. That alone was about £2-3,000-worth of damage.

“It might look like a derelict site, but there is stuff in there we want to protect.

“Over the last 12 months, I reckon there has been the best part of £50,000 worth of damage. In some cases where we have boarded up the windows, they do not just smash the boards, they smash the frames as well.

“Some of the glass in there originally came from France and it’s not made anywhere in the world anymore. It cannot be replaced and that is part of our heritage gone.”

Restoration work is expected to be completed towards the end of next year. Proposals to turn the property into 27 flats have been approved.

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