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Mid Suffolk council chiefs to take concerns about Fisons building to court

PUBLISHED: 05:30 30 July 2018

Firefighters attended a fire at the old Fisons building in Bramford in April Picture: GREGG BROWN

Firefighters attended a fire at the old Fisons building in Bramford in April Picture: GREGG BROWN

The future of an iconic Suffolk building will now be decided in court.

The council is concerned about the safety at the site Picture: GREGG BROWNThe council is concerned about the safety at the site Picture: GREGG BROWN

Concerns about the former Fisons warehouse in Bramford have been growing over the past year.

Firefighters tackled two separate blazes in the space of two weeks in April.

Neither of these fires harmed the listed area of the building – the North Warehouse – but they caused damage elsewhere on the site.

It is understood Mid Suffolk council chiefs are considering taking legal action in a bid to protect it.

The second of two fires at the former Fisons site Picture: SUFFOLK FIRE AND RESCUEThe second of two fires at the former Fisons site Picture: SUFFOLK FIRE AND RESCUE

Recent structural surveys of the site, carried out by the authority, indicated the roof of the listed building had become unsafe.

It is currently owned by Peterborough-based company Paper Mill Properties, who the council say they have been working with for a number of years.

Now, however, the authority is applying to the magistrates’ court in an attempt to ensure prompt action is taken.

Cabinet member for environment David Burn said: “It’s no secret that the safety of the former Fisons factory has been a concern for some time – we at Mid Suffolk have been in close contact with the owners over the past two years and at every turn have sought to support them to undertake the works needed to make the building safe.”

He added: “The Fisons building is a part of our local heritage, and more than that it is recognised in law as such, with listed building status.”

Kelvin Dakin from the Save the North Warehouse, which campaigns to save the building, hopes this latest action would help the structure but that it would be necessary to wait and see how the case progressed.

The former factory, in Paper Mill Lane, was earmarked for homes and offices in 2014.

The land was first developed in the mid 1800s as a fertiliser plant by Packards and when Fisons arrived the wooden warehouse – said to be Suffolk’s largest listed building – was erected.

Fisons left the site back in 2003.

When contacted by this newspaper, Paper Mill Properties were unavailable for comment.

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