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Council heading to court next month over ‘dangerously unsafe’ former Fisons building

PUBLISHED: 19:30 05 December 2018

Firefighters attended two fires at the old Fisons building in Bramford this year Picture: GREGG BROWN

Firefighters attended two fires at the old Fisons building in Bramford this year Picture: GREGG BROWN

Mid Suffolk District Council will be heading to court next month over the former Fisons buildings in Bramford, it has been revealed.

The action is linked to security concerns held by the council over the site on Paper Mill Lane.

Fire crews were called to the site twice in a matter of weeks in April after two serious fires broke out in separate areas of the site.

Neither of the fires affected the grade two listed North Warehouse but concerns remain high that it could be targeted in the future unless work was done to secure the site.

Since then those living nearby have continued to raise concerns about security at the site with fly-tipping, gaps in fencing and other access issues being raised.

Mid Suffolk said in June that it would consider “enforcement options to make this historic structure safe” after months of discussions with the developers, Peterborough-based Paper Mill Lane Properties.

David Burn, Mid Suffolk cabinet member for the environment, said: “We at Mid Suffolk have been in close contact with Paper Mill Lane Properties, the owners of the Fisons site, over the past few years and have always sought to support them in undertaking the works needed to make the building safe.

“We have repeatedly made clear to the owners what their responsibilities are, but sadly the works needed have not been carried out.

“As a result the site remains dangerously unsafe and Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service have been repeatedly forced to attend the site as a result.

“This is a poor way to treat such an important part of our local heritage.

“This neglect of the property by the owners has forced Mid Suffolk to pursue our options under the Building Act through the Magistrates’ Court.

“The case was first heard last week, and has now been adjourned until January 8.

“Should our application be successful, failure by the owners to take action to make the building safe would become a criminal offence.”

Kelvin Dakin from the Save the North Warehouse campaign said: “The fact that it has taken nearly six months to get this far is appalling.

“The problems with this site were raised by us over two years ago now and no action of any substance has been forthcoming.

“The site continues to be insecure and dangerous as well as an eyesore to local residents.”

Paper Mill Lane Properties were contacted for comment.

The case will be heard on January 8.

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