GALLERY: Workmen have finally moved in as Constantine House, Wisbech, begins to rise from ashes after arson attack

Constantine House was severely damaged by fire in March 2010. Constantine House was severely damaged by fire in March 2010.

Monday, August 18, 2014
3:18 PM

It’s attracted hundreds of demands for re-instatement, topped everyone’s poll of most detested eyesore, prompted petitions and threats of legal action.

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Constantine House, Wisbech. Behind the scenes of demolition and refurbishment. Picture: Steve Williams.Constantine House, Wisbech. Behind the scenes of demolition and refurbishment. Picture: Steve Williams.

Today Constantine House is rising from the ashes.

A little later than first promised, but the fire ravaged former shops and flats complex along Nene Quay Wisbech, is finally being restored four years after arsonists set fire to the three storey mid 19th century building.

Hanging over the owner was the threat of legal action by the council which former cabinet member for conservation and enforcement Councillor Simon King described as the “carrot and stick” approach.

Earlier this year he said: “The owners of derelict or dilapidated buildings need to be aware that FDC will use both a carrot and a stick to ensure that their buildings are not allowed to fall into disrepair in the future and that existing derelict buildings cannot be allowed to remain in that state.”

Constantine House, Wisbech. Behind the scenes of demolition and refurbishment. Picture: Steve Williams.Constantine House, Wisbech. Behind the scenes of demolition and refurbishment. Picture: Steve Williams.

Now the council can re-focus on other derelict buildings in the town working with English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund “to tap into potential external funding and also to harness their expertise regarding possible enforcement action”.

English Heritage has identified Wisbech as a priority town in terms of heritage townscape and is supporting Fenland Council in its bid for lottery funding.

“Any successful bid relies in part in demonstrating local community support along with educational links related to heritage,” said a council spokesman.

•Tell us your most detested eyesore in Fenland? Which part of our district do you want improved? email john.elworthy@archant.co.uk

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