Seaton town centre apartments reopen after arson attack

PUBLISHED: 12:53 31 July 2020

The Royal Clarence buildings at Seaton, Picture Google Maps

The Royal Clarence buildings at Seaton, Picture Google Maps

Archant

Seaton’s Royal Clarence apartments - a landmark building in the town centre - has been restored following a devastating fire.

Firefighters tackling the blaze at the royal Clarence Apartments in Seaton in 2018. Picture Chris CarsonFirefighters tackling the blaze at the royal Clarence Apartments in Seaton in 2018. Picture Chris Carson

Most of its 18 of its tenants were made homeless in December 2018 following an arson attack on the building. Many lost all their possessions.

Eventually they were all re-housed, thanks to help from East Devon District Council.

Now after 20 months of restoration work 13 of the 15 flats are available to rent again.

Mark Williams, director of the Seaton letting agents Champion Holmes, said: “Refurbishment is all but complete thanks to the sterling work by the builders, Whittakers from Honiton and NDM Architects from Seaton.

One of  the new kitchens in  the Royal Clarence apartments. Picture Champion HolmesOne of the new kitchens in the Royal Clarence apartments. Picture Champion Holmes

“Although the flats and studios retain the same floorplans it is not too much to call them brand new. Each unit has been given a brand new kitchen that includes an integrated oven and hob with extractor hood, a brand new bathroom with a suite to include shower cubicle and electric shower, hand basin and WC.

“The heating has been upgraded to state of the art electric heaters and the flooring has all been replaced to include carpet in the bedrooms. Many of the apartments boast sea views.

“There is a range of apartments from studios to two bedrooms at prices from £395pcm to £595pcm. There is a fully furnished show flat with viewings available and occupation from the end of August.”

Connor Hallett, aged 23, who lived in one of the apartments, was jailed for five years and four months by Exeter Crown Court after he admitted arson, being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

A newly refurbished room at the Royal Clarence apartments. Picture: Champion HolmesA newly refurbished room at the Royal Clarence apartments. Picture: Champion Holmes

The court heard he risked the lives of 17 people by setting light to the block of flats, from which he was about to be evicted.

The fire caused at least £310,000 damage and left all the other residents homeless three weeks before Christmas. They all escaped unhurt but two needed treatment by paramedics for smoke inhalation.

The fire caused massive disruption in Seaton at the time and the Royal Clarence pub and Boots shop, part of the same complex, were closed for three weeks with combined loss of business of £60,000.

* Contact Champion Holmes on 01297 20080 or enquiries@championholmes.co.uk to register an interest or to book a viewing.


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