WISBECH: Council set to spend �50,000 to shore up 11-12 High Street to safeguard pedestrians
WORKMEN paid for by Fenland District Council will start work on Monday to shore up two derelict Wisbech shops that pose a danger to passers by. The council expects the work to cost �50,000 but the bill could go higher once the full extent of the threat is
WORKMEN paid for by Fenland District Council will start work on Monday to shore up two derelict Wisbech shops that pose a danger to passers by.
The council expects the work to cost �50,000 but the bill could go higher once the full extent of the threat is revealed.
"These buildings have been a blot on the landscape for a number of years," a council spokesman explained.
The council had hoped developers who acquired the site two years ago to restore the buildings to two shops and four flats might have started by now but hold-ups have forced the council to step in.
Although the council will bill the developers for the work, the spokesman said they were still keen "to work with the owners of the site to encourage its redevelopment. We want to give business a boost as well as restoring the appearance of the High Street".
The council says its hand was forced after an engineer's report they commissioned showed the buildings to be dangerous and at risk of collapsing in very high winds.
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The report also showed that although the properties are listed "there was little of historic merit that could be saved and that any attempt to do so would be far too expensive".
The spokesman added: "The council's only statutory duty is to make the buildings safe. However we are now working with the owners to try to get the site developed."
Work will be carried out in phases but what happens in the long term remains unclear. The buildings once housed Purdy's restaurant and Foster Menswear but over the years have fallen into disrepair.
Two years ago the council set down 10 conditions for restoration "to safeguard the character of a building listed of special architectural and historical interest.