Historic house closed after persistent criminality blighted community
An historic house has been shut down by Fenland District Council after persistent criminality and anti-social behaviour blighted the community.
The authority successfully secured a Closure Order on the Grade II-listed Ely House on Thursday (August 1) following an application to Cambridge Magistrates’ Court under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
The three month court order closes the property with immediate effect, providing respite to local residents and safeguarding the property from further deterioration.
The order, which is supported by Cambridgeshire police, makes it a criminal offence for any unauthorised persons to enter the address. Members of the local community are now being urged to help enforce the order by reporting anyone entering the property to the police.
The privately owned property is currently empty, but access has been gained and various criminal acts committed, resulting in serious nuisance to the local community.
Issues have included anti-social behaviour at all hours, fires being set alight, fly-tipping, drug and alcohol abuse and vermin infestation, with frequent attendance by the emergency services to deal with disorder and crime.
Cllr Susan Wallwork, Fenland District Council’s portfolio holder for communities, said: “We are very pleased to have obtained a Closure Order for this property, which recognises our ongoing commitment to making our communities safer.
“Closing premises is not a decision taken lightly but shows we are prepared to take the firm action necessary to address the complaints we have received about this address from both members of the public and several Wisbech councillors.
“There has been a copious amount of work going on to address the complex issues on this privately owned site, involving council officers from community safety, housing, planning enforcement, conservation and environmental health. It has been a team effort to secure all the evidence needed to bring it to court and enable this safeguarding action to take place.
“Getting this property closed for three months will give residents the peace and quiet they deserve and enable us to implement a long term solution. Any persons entering the house during that period will also commit a criminal offence which will be robustly enforced.”
Anyone who witnesses unauthorised persons entering the property, breaching the Closure Order, is urged to report it to police on 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.