Councillors welcome prosecution
The owners of a dilapidated building in Wisbech will be appearing in court next month.
Fenland District Council has decided to prosecute the owners of Constantine House after failing to complete necessary building work.
The council had served a Section 215 notice on the owners to finish remedial works on the Nene Quay building by October 26 .
The owners have been summoned to appear at King’s Lynn Magistrates Court on December 2.
Calls have been made to improve the building, which was once The Belfast linen store, after it was badly damaged in a fire in 2015.
Cabinet member for dilapidated buildings Cllr David Oliver announced the decision during a full council meeting on Thursday.
He said: “Our legal team has subsequently reviewed the situation and I can now tell you that we are pressing ahead with a prosecution.
“We all recognise the significance of this building, which is in a key position in the town. It is important to remember that it is privately owned and that the full responsibility for the repairs rests with the owners.
“Over a long period we have done our utmost to work with the owners, as we do with all dilapidated buildings. All our efforts have been directed at finding the best and most effective way to get the required repairs completed.
“Despite an immense amount of hard work by council officers, we have not yet been able to get the owners to finish the essential works.
“We will now have to wait for the legal process to take its course. However, we continue to hope that the owners will comply with the requirements of the notice.”
Works which need to be completed include finishing off the roofing, repairing shop fronts, doors and windows, along with decoration.
Wisbech councillors Michael and Virginia Bucknor have been fighting for improvements to be made to Constantine House since 2012.
Cllr Mr Bucknor said: “It is about time. It has taken too long and this could have been and should have been done earlier.
“It is the biggest eyesore as you come into Wisbech as it is so obvious.
“We do still have the problem with the Phoenix Hotel.”