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Former hairdressers on March High Street destroyed by fire will not be rebuilt when the shop is demolished

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A March shop badly damaged by a fire earlier this year is to be demolished and will not be replaced.

The shop as it was before the fire. (4621369)
The shop as it was before the fire. (4621369)

The premises at 103 High Street, which was hairdressers Tangled Up, was ravaged by a fire in January which left the building, which is in the town's conservation area, unsafe.

Initially it had been hoped the shop could be rebuilt. However, Fenland District Council has now approved an application by property owner Mr R Edgoose for its demolition and for the site to be landscaped.

The shop was completely gutted (4621377)
The shop was completely gutted (4621377)

In his application Mr Edgoose includes a justification statement drawn up by engineer Mark Bonner, which explains why the building can no longer be replaced because of drains running underneath the site.

Mr Bonner said: "Our initial thoughts were to demolish the existing structure and replace with a new building of a similar size and similar usage as a shop.

The shop as it looks today - boarded up. (4621384)
The shop as it looks today - boarded up. (4621384)

"I carried out my usual investigations which brought to light the presence of some public drainage systems in the vicinity of our proposed new building.

"I contacted Anglia Water to arrange a meeting on site with their representative to establish drainage locations, sizes, type and any other relevant information."

During the site visit on June 5 drain covers were lifted which resulted in Mr Bonner and the Anglian Water representative establishing a foul water drain running under the front of the shop and a surface water drain running under the rear of the property.

Mr Bonner said: "As this is only a limited size site the new shop would occupy the original footprint of the existing shop and therefore remain over/near these drains which would not comply with Anglia Water's criteria."

Since the site visit he said Anglian Water have confirmed they would not allow development on the site and any proposal would be rejected due to the drainage beneath it.

He said as a result the "practical" approach is to demolish the building and to landscape the site.

In conclusion he said: "The High Street scene will greatly benefit from the visual aspect of the existing fire damaged structure being demolished and landscaping the site which will

benefit the community with an acceptable visual status and remove any risk of further structural failure taking place."

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