Council forced to close High Street, Wisbech, whilst partial demolition of 'structurally unsafe' building goes ahead
PUBLISHED: 12:21 16 July 2019
Fenland District Council is taking urgent action to partially demolish a derelict building in Wisbech after surveys revealed parts of the building are at risk of collapse.
Work to remove part of the remaining building at 11-12 High Street will begin today, Monday, July 15, and is expected to take up to a week to complete.
The High Street will be temporarily closed and diversion routes set up for the duration of the works, although businesses will be open as usual.
The council, which owns the Grade II listed building, said investigations have revealed that two unsupported walls behind the façade are structurally unsafe, and appropriate action must be taken to ensure public safety.
The council purchased the property from its previous owner late last year in order to save it from further dilapidation and bring it back into use as part of its £1.9 million Heritage Lottery-funded Wisbech High Street Project.
Plans have been drawn up with a developer to regenerate the site with new flats and shops, and structural surveys scheduled to determine the condition of the building and its foundations.
However, structural concerns were raised during initial excavation works in the building's basement last week, and subsequent surveys confirmed that remedial work should be undertaken without delay to mitigate any risks.
Cllr Chris Seaton, Fenland District Council's portfolio holder for heritage, said: "Public safety is paramount so we are moving swiftly to remove the unsupported elements of the building and make it safe.
"A temporary road closure will be necessary to ensure the works are carried out with the necessary precautions, and we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause."