Wisbech chiropractor told to remove poor quality staircase put into listed building

07:13 14 March 2012

Offending staircase at 6 North Brink, Wisbech

Offending staircase at 6 North Brink, Wisbech

Archant

A WISBECH chiropractic health centre more used to back pain has been landed with a massive headache following a ruling that improvements to the historic four storey house are not up to standard.

Vanessa Akindele has lost an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate following refusal of Fenland District Council to give her listed building consent for alterations.

And Dr Kola Akindele, in a separate ruling at the same 6 North Brink address, has lost an appeal against a listed building enforcement notice also issued by Fenland Council.

The decision means a poor quality staircase installed without planning permission must be removed.

6 North Brink originally had three storeys and a basement but a fourth storey was added at a later date. The building is used not only for a chiropractor’s clinic but has treatment rooms and a hair and beauty salon on other levels.

Breach of the regulations at the Grade II* house was discovered during a visit to the property following a fire at the neighbouring Phoenix Hotel.

The chipboard staircase leading from the ground floor lobby to the first floor, had been installed despite the existence of one dating back to the early 19th century. It had not been shown on plans for previous planning permissions.

Fenland District Council recommended that the owners submit a formal application for listed building consent but advised them that it could be refused and that they would have the right to appeal.

English Heritage objected to the retention of the staircase and the application was refused.

FDC then served an enforcement notice on the owners, requiring them to remove it within 12 months.

Councillor Jan French, FDC’s portfolio holder responsible for planning, said: “We are pleased by the Inspectorate’s rulings, which vindicate the stance we have taken. We will now be writing to the owners ordering them to comply with the original enforcement notice.

“It means they will have to remove the staircase within 12 months and make good the interior.

“This is another reminder to people, particularly owners of listed buildings, that they have to comply with planning regulations and that we will pursue them if they don’t.”

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