Page last updated at 12:11 GMT, Sunday, 2 August 2009 13:11 UK

Arsonists 'target' empty cinema

Cinema fire
The fire is believed to have been started deliberately

Firefighters have been tackling a suspected arson attack on the site of a derelict cinema in Kent that is due to be demolished.

Crews were called to the former ABC building in the centre of Tunbridge Wells at a 1020 BST after a passerby spotted smoke coming from the roof.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service said it was the latest in a series of fire inside the complex.

It is believed arsonists set fire to rubbish on the building's third floor.

Left empty

Three crews, including firefighters wearing breathing apparatus and the aerial ladder, tackled the fire.

Permission for a new development on site was approved in November.

The former ABC building was closed nine years ago after the opening of an out-of-town Odeon, at Knight's Park.

The cinema has been left empty for several years while development plans were considered.

An application for shops, homes, hotels and offices was approved by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, subject to 44 conditions being met in 2008.

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