Wisbech businesses are being killed off by conflicting regulations according to health centre owner

CONFLICTING regulations are killing off Wisbech shops according to a businessman who is being forced to remove a fire escape from a listed building.

Conservation officers inspected North Brink Health and Beauty last April after the Phoenix Hotel next door was destroyed by fire and found the newly constructed stair case which is being used as a fire escape.

Dr Kola Akinbele, who owns the 19th Century building, which also houses Chiropractic and Complimentary Health, said that he had been instructed to install a second fire escape since 1998 when he bought the building.

He said: “We are in a dilemma where the building and fire regulators wanted another escape but because the building is Grade 2* listed and conservation officers are trying to get us to remove it.

“We thought it was only Grade 2 but when the conservation officers came round to inspect the building we were informed that the stair case would have to be removed as we didn’t get permission before we put it up.

“The conflicting regulations are killing the town off, it will ruin the business as without a certificate from the fire service, we won’t be able to run it. It would make the building useless.

“The fire service says we need the fire escape and then the conservation officers say they don’t want it there.”

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Dr Akinbele is hoping that Fenland councillors will not vote for him to remove the �5,000 stair case in a planning committee meeting on Wednesday.

Conservation officers believe the construction of the staircase has damaged the inside of the building, which was built between 1820-40, with walls and ceilings being affected.

The riverside property previously had many unauthorised changes made to the building, but all were rectified before Dr Akinbele took over in 1998.