Abandoned Fen property Ely House ‘set for fresh start’ as new owners plan to transform it into family home
PUBLISHED: 10:29 27 January 2020 | UPDATED: 10:29 27 January 2020
Abandoned Ely House is set for a “fresh start” as the new owners plan to transform it into a family home, the council has revealed.
The future of the Wisbech property is now clear just months after Fenland District Council took legal action to secure the home and find new owners.
The historic former farmhouse, built in the early 1700s, stood empty on Lynn Road for a number of years and was occupied by a number of squatters.
Fenland council secured a 'Closure Order' to protect nearby residents from persistent criminal activity and to safeguard the Grade II-listed property from further deterioration.
The order reduced the demand placed on emergency services to attend the Lynn Road property following a series of issues including anti-social behaviour, fires being set alight, vandalism and drug and alcohol abuse.
Cllr Susan Wallwork, Fenland District Council's portfolio holder for communities, said: "I'm over the moon the property has been purchased and the new owners are already being proactive in its care.
"I'd like to thank council officers for their efforts gathering the evidence needed to secure the closure order, local residents and Wisbech councillors for their support and intelligence throughout this process, and our partners including the police and fire service.
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"We all look forward to Ely House being restored and the community feeling more at peace."
Cllr Chris Seaton, portfolio holder for social mobility and heritage, said: "Ely House is reputed to be the oldest residential property in Wisbech, dating back to the 17th Century.
"As with any historic building, it is sad when they are abandoned and left to fall into disrepair.
"I'm delighted we were able to take action, to not only provide respite to the local community, but to protect the building's heritage and help bring it back into proper use."
The council originally secured a three-month order from Cambridge Magistrates' Court in August last year, making it illegal for anyone without authority to access the house.
A three-month extension was also granted by the courts in November.
Now, with reports of anti-social behaviour and criminality having dropped and the new owners already starting works on the site, a closure order is no longer necessary.
The new owners are now working with the council's planning and conservation teams to commence the refurbishment works. Fencing surrounding the site will remain in situ whilst works are undertaken.