Police appeal for witnesses to arson attack on historic Newall Green Farm

Police are now treating the fire which devastated historic Newall Green Farm last weekend as an arson attack.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the fire which was started deliberately between 4pm and 5.50pm on Saturday 21 June 2014.

A group of youths broke into the farmland near Clay Lane and Newall Road and set fire to a 16th century listed farmhouse in Wythenshawe, completely destroying the roof, before running away.

It has already been reported that up to 15 children, one as young as six were in the building when it caught fire.

Detective Constable Anna Meakin of Greater Manchester Police’s South Manchester Division said: “This was a deliberate attack and police take arson attacks very seriously. Luckily, nobody was hurt, but we want to catch the people that did this as soon as possible.

“The community is understandably very upset that this has happened. We’re asking anyone who may know who is responsible for this arson attack or who may have seen people acting suspiciously in the area to contact police immediately.”

Anyone with information should call 0161 856 4982 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Residents and campaigners hoping to save historic building are meet its new owners next week to discuss its future.

Andrew Milne from Zeno Ltd who bought the property recently will meet with residents at the Firbank Pub on Thursday July 3 at 6pm.

Hopes are high the buildling can be saved and that plans to restore the site remain on course.

And in an impressive display of community spirit, a Facebook group, which has gained dozens of new members in the last few days, has rallied to organise the meeting next week

Newall Green Farm was built in the sixteenth century and fell into disrepair when its last occupants died.

It was sold to property  developers who wanted to build luxury flats. But they abandoned the scheme when planning permission was refused.

And recently, Andrew Milne announced the purchase of the site and plans to start the process of developing the farm for the benefit of the local community as a registered care home.

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