Eyesore next to Lynn Road, Wisbech, demolished by West Norfolk council

An eyesore beside a main road on the outskirts of Wisbech has been demolished by West Norfolk council after its owner failed to meet deadlines to tidy up the site.

The once-busy Victoria Caf�, situated in a prominent location on the Lynn Road at Walsoken, had become a cause for concern for residents and local authorities alike after its closure.

Neglected for a number of years, the building had become unsafe and was attracting anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping.

The grounds had also been used to site caravans for people to live in without planning consent.

Now, following a series of planning enforcement measures, West Norfolk council has totally demolished the building.

It has also cleared waste, including illegally-dumped asbestos, from the site and erected a 2m high security fence to enclose it.

The works cost a total of �40,980 to complete. Now the council is pursuing legal action to secure a charge on the land, which will ensure that it can recover these costs from the owner of the site.

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Vivienne Spikings, West Norfolk's cabinet member for development, said: 'We do not take such action lightly and prefer to work with landowners to resolve issues such as these.

'However, we had been advised that this site posed a significant fire risk and was potentially dangerous for those accessing it illegally.

'It was also clear that the unsightly nature and anti-social behaviour the site attracted was affecting residents so we felt that action must be taken.'

As far back as November 2009, the council received complaints from neighbours regarding the siting of residential caravans and mobile homes without the relevant planning permission on the former Victoria cafe site.

An enforcement notice was served requiring that the use of the land for the siting of residential mobile homes or caravans should cease immediately.

It also ordered that all of the mobile homes and other items brought onto the land for residential purposes should be permanently removed by March 2010.

The terms of this notice were complied with, but the occupier also removed the close boarded fence that enclosed the land.

This left the site exposed to squatters and vandalism - putting them at risk of injury.

It also created an eyesore on one of the main routes into Wisbech, where new homes and businesses have been built in recent years.

After communications with the registered landowner in July 2010, the council served an order called a Section 215 notice on them.

It required the owner to take steps to tidy the site up and remedy the condition of the land.

However this time, the landowner failed to comply with the deadline set by the council's lawyers of September 2010.

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