WISBECH: Three derelict town centre buildings no nearer to being restored.
A PROGRESS report about the future of three derelict buildings in Wisbech town centre has shown they are no nearer to being restored. Councillor Roger Green has raised questions about whether work on the former shops in the High Street will ever begin aft
A PROGRESS report about the future of three derelict buildings in Wisbech town centre has shown they are no nearer to being restored.
Councillor Roger Green has raised questions about whether work on the former shops in the High Street will ever begin after years of neglect.
He told councillors at the annual full council meeting: "Local residents and visitors alike are constantly dismayed year after year at having to look at the shored-up derelict buildings at 11, 12 and 24 High Street, Wisbech which are like ugly warts on the face of our otherwise attractive Georgian market town."
In January last year, planning permission was granted to restore the shops at 11 and 12 High Street and a repairs notice was issued by the council in November.
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But 18 months on, it appears no work has started.
In reply to Cllr Green's queries, Cabinet member Cllr Alan Melton said Fenland council is implementing a 'back up' plan despite negotiations with the developer.
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"Whilst we hope the owner is going to commence work to implement his permissions, we are preparing a back up plan," he said.
A council report - due to be released next month - will outline the possible route of compulsory purchase of the buildings at 11 and 12 High Street.
But there are doubts a third party interested in the site will be found straight away.
"This will require a willing third party to enter into a Back to Back Agreement with the district council to implement the repairs of the compulsory purchase order is successful," said Cllr Melton.
"However in the current economic climate this is not going to be a quick or easy process."
Meanwhile, a Dangerous Building/Structure Notice is to be served at 24 High Street as there are concerns the building is in such a bad state.
"However, a permanent solution is no nearer," said Cllr Melton "Over the last 20 years none of the owners of the gap site have been able to implement a redevelopment which is financially viable.