Businessman landed with £40,000 bill after former Wisbech cafe is ripped is down by council

PUBLISHED: 13:56 17 June 2011

The Victoria Café, situated on Lynn Road, Walsoken that had become an eyesore has been cleared.

The Victoria Café, situated on Lynn Road, Walsoken that had become an eyesore has been cleared.


BUSINESSMAN John Harrison faces a £40,000 bill after a council stepped in to demolish the “eyesore” café he once ran in Wisbech.

Mr Harrison heard the news at his retirement home in Spain and the demolition, by West Norfolk Council, followed a barrage of complaints from neighbours.

Councillor Vivienne Spikings, Cabinet Member for Development, said: “We do not take such action lightly and prefer to work with landowners to resolve issues such as these.

“However, we had been advised that this site posed a significant fire risk and was potentially dangerous for those accessing it illegally.

“It was also clear that the unsightly nature and anti-social behaviour the site attracted was affecting residents so we felt that action must be taken.”

Neglected for years, the Victoria Cafe in Walsoken has become a target for anti social behaviour.

Last year Mr Harrison, who has owned the cafe for more than 20 years, said the stress of dealing with the site had made him ill.

Now the site, which Mr Harrison once hoped to sell for £450,000, faces having a £40,980 charge slapped on by the council as they seek to reclaim their expenditure.

Jim Stephens, a partner at nearby Grassgate Motors said: “It was a blot on the landscape, rubbish attracts rubbish and thankfully there is no rubbish floating across the road now.

“It has taken them long enough to take it down but it does look much better, better for the town and better for the community.”

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