Archaeologists fume but council says there's little hope of saving fire damaged cottage

PUBLISHED: 13:21 16 August 2011

Aftermath pictures of the house fire in Nene Parade March in March 2011

Aftermath pictures of the house fire in Nene Parade March in March 2011

Archant

The mid 18th century cottage in Nene Parade was gutted by fire earlier this year and now an application is before the council's planning committee next Wednesday for it to be demolished and the site cleared.

March Town Council accepts demolition as a realistic option and Fenland Council officers will recommend the planning committee approves.

However the Georgian Group believes some parts could be saved and they want the application either withdrawn or listed building consent refused “on the grounds of insufficient justification”.

Fenland Council’s own conservation team accept demolition is contentious but is “minded to recommend approval”.

The county archaeologist says if demolition is agreed then he would like to see “a historic building recording exercise in order to preserve the interest of the 18th century waterfront property in perpetuity”.

Specialists would be called in to record the cottage’s history in conjunction with the demolition ground works crew.

Other groups such as the Council for British Archaeology have inspected the site and want some elements of the original house retained.

The Ancient Monuments Society says retention of the building “would be difficult but not impossible.”

However Fenland Council’s own officers says permission for its demolition should be given but insist bricks are salvaged and possibly utilised in a new house.

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