City of London staff member charged with arson after golf club fire

Image copyright PA Image caption Council staff arrived to find a fire at the clubhouse of the Muswell Hill Golf Club, in north London

A member of staff at the City of London has been charged with arson after a fire at a golf course clubhouse meant to be used for homeless.

Police arrested a 48-year-old man on suspicion of arson in London’s North Finchley on Tuesday.

He was questioned and released on bail.

He will appear at a hearing at City of London Magistrates’ Court on 21 May.

Proceedings were not listed.

No-one was injured during the blaze at the John Nelson Driving School in Haddington Way, Shepherds Bush, last month.

Police were called shortly after 0800 BST and found a blaze at the clubhouse, which was fitted with solar panels and solar ovens, which are said to help turn waste into energy for an estimated 30 homeless people.

Clubs abandoned

Gary Thomlinson, 58, manager of the Muswell Hill Golf Club in Haddington Way, was released on bail in April after spending a night in a cell.

Mr Thomlinson said the courses were a favourite among residents of Shepherds Bush and residents of neighbouring Ledd Close.

He said there were far fewer clubs when he started in 1989, as players had either abandoned the area or had built houses nearby.

The golf club and a hotel, Runcorn Stables Inn, was forced to close after last month’s fire.

The Muswell Hill Golf Club was first occupied in 1872. It was first licensed to host golf courses in the mid-19th century.

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