Uphill struggle for Fenland Council as it tries to get owners to re-build Wisbech eyesores

IT’S been an uphill struggle for Fenland Council as its sets about tracking some and persuading others to part with cash to restore three Wisbech eyesores.

Councillors heard from Councillor Simon King about the false expectations previously raised to improve the sites and pointed out little was being done.

He said the Phoenix Hotel, for instance, which was gutted by arsonists, was still no nearer being repaired.

Likewise Constantine House in Nene Parade where he said “the owner had promised to have work done by last Christmas and nothing got done and we’re fast approaching another Christmas.”

His third site was Fulcher’s shop in Norfolk Street which he said had attracted numerous complaints.

He said a neighbouring party wall was damaged by water and “these old buildings are not up to taking this battering.”

Council Jan French, the portfolio holder for planning, said of the Phoenix that every effort to contact the owner Nancy Wong had failed. The council had put a second charge on the property – believed to be for �100,000- which is mortgaged to the Bank of East Asia. The council was looking at all options.

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Of Constantine House she said if those who owned it “haven’t got the money we can’t force them to spend it.”

And in Norfolk Street she said officers were in touch with the owners to resolve the matter “but again I think it’s down to finances. Once the owner has the money he can proceed.”