THE owners of a grade II-listed hall have been prosecuted for unlawfully removing roof slates and stone lantern finial.

Leicester-based EH Capital 1 Ltd pleaded guilty for unlawfully removing the items from Langroyd Hall in Colne in April.

When admitting to the offence in Burnley Magistrates' Court, a company director said it was done to protect the 17th century building from thieves and trespassers.

The director said the slates were stored and numbered to ensure the roof could be replaced at a future date.

EH Capital 1 Ltd did not seek permission from Pendle Council to do this work and the company admitted this was an error.

It was fined £1,200 and ordered to pay the Council’s prosecution costs.

The company apologised to the people of Colne and the council for this action.

Neil Watson, planning, economic development and regulatory services manager, said: "This prosecution shows that historic building crime is serious and we will take action.

"Listed buildings are protected for a reason. They often have special architectural and historic interest and these should be protected for future generations."

EH Capital 1 has been asked to carry out work to protect the building from intruders, including restoring the roof.

Mr Watson said: "The company has since consulted with us extensively on their plans to develop the site and we will continue to work with them."