Bosses of Worlingham Hall admit failing to comply with fire safety notice

Worlingham Hall, near Beccles

Worlingham Hall is a Grade II-listed property near Beccles - Credit: Airbnb

The company responsible for the management of Worlingham Hall in north Suffolk has admitted failing to comply with a fire safety notice it had been issued.

Mallard Enterprises Ltd, a Beccles-based firm, had been issued with a Prohibition Notice issued by Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service last year.

The fire service issued the company with the notice last April to prevent sleeping at the premises as the fire safety measures were not considered adequate.

The hall is a Grade I listed Georgian house used as a wedding and events venue and for holiday lets.

Officers from the fire services' protection team attended Worlingham Hall last September to check compliance of the notice to find that Mallard Enterprises was in breach of the notice as a wedding was taking place.

This event was allowed to go ahead following additional measures being put in place at the request of the fire service, including a waking watch for guests staying at the property overnight.

Mallard Enterprises admitted to three recorded breaches of the notice throughout last year, along with four other fire safety offences, which included failing to undertake a risk assessment, make arrangements for the effective planning, organisation and monitoring of preventive/protective measures in event of fire, equip premises with appropriate fire-fighting equipment, detectors, and alarms and comply with requirements to safeguard in event of fire.

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When given the opportunity to come clean about any further offences, Mallard Enterprises asked for an additional 11 breaches of the Prohibition Notice to be taken into consideration.

The company has since completed the necessary fire safety work at Worlingham Hall to enable the premises to be used for sleeping.

Jon Lacey

Jon Lacey, Chief Fire Officer for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service - Credit: Suffolk County Council

Jon Lacey, Chief Fire Officer for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: "Our Protection team remains committed to working with businesses across Suffolk to ensure that they meet fire regulations and are looking after the safety of their customers.

"Mallard Enterprises Ltd could not demonstrate that they were doing so, leading to the issue of the Prohibition Notice and an opportunity for them to rectify our serious concerns about fire safety.

"Unfortunately, the company had no regard to the risk of death or serious injury posed to the public, leaving us with no option but to seek a prosecution, which I’m pleased was successful."