Work re-starts on Constantine House in Wisbech just days before owners were facing court action

Constantine house Wisbech. Picture: Steve Williams.

Constantine house Wisbech. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Work started again this morning (Monday) on Constantine House in Wisbech – just two days before the owners were due in court over their failure to comply with a Section 215 Notice ordering them to complete the necessary repairs by October 26.

The owners have said that work should be finished by Christmas. As a result, Fenland District Council has agreed that the case be adjourned for four weeks.

Welcoming the move, Councillor David Oliver, the council’s Cabinet member responsible for dilapidated buildings and enforcement, said: “This is good news, coming as it does after many months of inactivity on the site.

“When we announced earlier this month that we were going ahead with our prosecution, we said that we still hoped the owners would comply with the order before the matter went to court.

“Now they are finally taking steps to do that. They have confirmed that funds are in place to complete the remedial works required by the Section 215 Notice and that those works should be finished by Christmas.

“Our enforcement team was on site this morning to check that work had indeed started and we will obviously be continuing to monitor the situation closely.”

The case is still scheduled to be heard at King’s Lynn Magistrates Court on Wednesday [December 2]. However, Fenland District Council has today [November 30] written to the court agreeing for it to be adjourned for four weeks to give the owners time to complete the works and for the council to do the necessary inspections.

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The works required by the Section 215 Notice include installing windows missing from the front of the building and the re-roofing of the building’s rear section.

Deadline for completion of the work on Constantine House, set out in a Section 215 order, was originally March, but the owner was granted an extension and it should have been completed by the end of June.

Work halted on the site before Easter and the workers have not been on the site for at least three months.

In August the council explained how they had worked “closely” with Constantine House owners to “realise a high quality redevelopment securing visual improvement to Wisbech”.

A council spokesman said 75 per cent of work had been carried out before it halted in May.

Councillor David Oliver, portfolio holder responsible for conservation, said in July: “The council is anxious to ensure that the building is watertight and pigeon nesting prevented to stop any future damage.

“We continue to make every effort to force the owner to comply fully with the Section 215 Notice, and are now considering all the options available to us to get the necessary works completed, including potential legal action.”