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Monday, 01 September 2014

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Carlisle store destroyed by fire to be rebuilt

A furniture store destroyed in an arson attack last year is set to rise from the ashes.

Harveys fire photo
Harveys store, Carlisle

The huge blaze at the Harveys store on Crown Street, Carlisle, left the building so badly damaged that it had to be demolished.

But plans have now been lodged with Carlisle City Council’s planning unit, and if approved they will lead to the store being rebuilt.

The original steel structure was destroyed by the intensity of the blaze in late November last year.

Experts said the fire reached temperatures of up to 700C.

Police believe the fire was started deliberately and have issued appeals to anybody who can help their inquiry.

The planning application for the new store was lodged on February 25.

In background statements which accompany the application, the firm dealing with the plans states: “The objective is essentially to rebuild the property..

“However, the materials and the appearance of the building are to be modernised, using higher quality materials to create a more attractive shopping environment.”

The scale of the new building will be the same as it predecessor, standing 10 metres high and including parking for 32 cars. The proposed shop front is described as “modern and contemporary.”

So far the application has attracted no objections. A final decision can not be made before March 28.

A police spokeswoman said: “The case is not closed and officers are still appealing for anyone with information to come forward and help the investigation.”

Justin Robinson, of Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, said at the time the arsonists had set fire to two industrial wheelie bins, filled with cardboard, at the back of the premises.

It then spread through foam insulation in metal wall and ceiling panels.

Harveys has declined to comment on the planning application.

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