Furious residents call for action on ‘bombsite’ Wisbech eyesore Constantine House

FRUSTRATED residents are calling on Fenland District Council to take action over a Wisbech eyesore which has sat derelict and decaying for more than two years.

Constantine House, in Nene Quay, which was formerly known as The Belfast building, was seriously damaged by fire in March, 2010. Two-and-a-half years later, the 19th century building remains run down, with the windows boarded up and the roof rotting.

It has prompted residents to start a petition demanding that the council intervene - and it has already attracted more than 70 signatures.

However, a report set to go before Fenland District Council on Thursday says further contact has been made with the owner of the building.

It says: “The owner has abandoned an action against his insurers and has acknowledged his obligation to leaseholders to reinstate/restore the property.

“He has asked to be put into contact with planning and conservation officers at FDC, to assist him with the necessary consents for this work.

“To cover the expense, the owner is realigning his assets and he has acknowledged the debt owed to FDC.

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“He was happy to agree to a further update in terms of works/repayment of the debt in the coming few weeks.”

Fed-up residents have also started sending letters to the council pleading for renovation work.

Campaigner David Prestidge has prepared a series of crib letters on his Wisbech Community Forum blog, encouraging residents to take up the issue with councillors.

The blog, which refers to Constantine House as the “Belfast Bombsite”, says: “There is growing local discontent about Wisbech becoming a poor relation in Fenland, with all the attention and positive activity being centred on March.

“A particular focus of people’s anger is the continued inactivity over the wrecked former Belfast building.”

The state of Constantine House has been raised at several council meetings in the last two years and it was highlighted as a concern during the regeneration discussions of Wisbech Town Team.

Councillors at Thursday’s meeting will also be updated on the situation surrounding the derelict Phoenix Hotel, which was devastated by fire in 2010.

• For more information about the Constantine campaign visit wisbechcommunityforum.blogspot.co.uk or sign the petition at www.ipetitions.com/petition/do-something-about-the-belfast-building