So little remains of a Grade II listed shop destroyed by a fire in April last year, that demolition looks certain.
An application to demolish what is left of 5 Market Place Wisbech is before Fenland District Council.
The owners are Indylby Investments and Biscuit Investments and the Lincoln based company has prepared a comprehensive package of proposals.
In one report to planners their agent notes that the fire “largely destroyed the interior and left the exterior structurally unsound”.
If agreed there is likely to be “potential for making a detailed record and identifies a limited number of items which could be recovered from the damaged building”.
A historic profile of the site will be produced to ensure memories remain long after demolition.
“There is a wealth of historic and more recent photographs available, both already within the project and in archive depositories,” says the report to council.
“Also available, and likely to prove invaluable, is drone video footage and still images taken shortly after the fire and so providing a resource of data that it would be difficult to achieve by another means given the health and safety considerations within the structure as it stands.
“Given the current state of the building however, i.e., fire damaged and with little surviving of the interior, work to date has consisted of as detailed as can be achieved observation of the structure from adjoining buildings, and of the front elevation as viewed around the supporting scaffolding.
“This has allowed moderately close inspection of what remains of the rear rooms of the front structure (including observations which will aid in phasing components of the building); however, it has not been possible to see into the front rooms at first, second and third floor level.”
The report says: “This phase of recording has generated almost 200 digital images which will contribute to the record as it progresses.
“Preliminary annotation of existing plans has also been carried out; both of these will be added to and built upon at the following stages of recording.
“The drone footage taken shortly after the fire is of good quality and tests have determined that it can be used to generate Capture From Motion photogrammetry, which will greatly increase the level of detail it will be possible to achieve.
“Together with the 2015 site plans and elevations a detailed record is achievable.”
The council has been told as that as far as is safe and practical a further assessment of the extent of loss of structural and decorative elements previously identified will be made.
This will also update the schedule of historic materials, fittings, and features to be salvaged for possible re-use.
Under the heading of ‘possible items for recovery during clearance’ is the report sets out the following:
Known to have survived:
- Two cast iron fireplaces in the second and third floor level rear rooms (in reasonable condition):
- An iron pattress plate visible on the rear wall of the front structure (in good condition):
- The brass “PIANOES” plinth cap by the front entrance (in quite poor condition):
- Decorative 19th century shop front fittings include pierced iron work (in reasonable condition):
- The sole surviving 16-pane sash window frame at the 2nd floor front (condition unknown):
- The “good Adam style chimney piece” in the 2nd floor front room (condition unknown):
“Further items may become apparent during the clearance and stabilisation phase,” the report adds.
Fire crews from Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Lincolnshire tackled the blaze at Market Place which house a gaming centre, Cashino, in Wisbech.
The fire broke out at around 6.15pm on April 22.
Can you help us?
While you’re here, we are asking, for the first time, for readers to support us financially by taking out a modest subscription.
£2, or £3 or even £5 will help us achieve our goals. It will mean the second year of CambsNews will be livelier, healthier, and much better placed to cover the important issues affecting our everyday lives.
Your subscription simply means we can provide and expand our news FREE to all readers (Read More)Will you help us? Simply click the link below to make a donation.