It’s been almost a year since planning consent was granted for the exciting redevelopment of the derelict site at No 24 High St known as “The Gap”
Whilst it may seem as though nothing has happened, plenty of work has been going on behind the scenes.
The site at 24 has neighbours on both sides as well as properties at the rear which benefit from access rights. In law it is essential that all parties understand and agree to works taking place when they are potentially affected by the development. We have party wall surveyors who are working on our behalf to progress this. These negotiations can take time and response times from affected parties are not within our control.
Soil investigations were undertaken by geotechnical engineers in September 2018 to further understand the ground conditions. The results of this have required an amendment to the original foundation and piling design. Further soil investigations are planned for the next few weeks. As the steel frame for “The Gap” structure has been designed to support a future permanent building it is essential that the most appropriate foundation solution is found.
As a requirement of the planning condition we had to undertake archaeological monitoring during all ground works and investigations. This specialist work has required professional archaeologists to be present during all works. Fortunately, so far no evidence of archaeological remains has been encountered.
We are now at the half-way stage of the Wisbech High Street Project and there are 2 years remaining to allocate the funding from National Lottery Heritage Fund. This is for the entire project, not just The Gap. Once a contractor has been appointed we envisage the build time required is relatively short at around 6 months, with the main component being the construction of the steel frame.
We have a dedicated team working on “The Gap” in addition to the FDC Wisbech High Street Project team including architects, structural engineers and quantity surveyors. All are committed to see “The Gap” completed as soon as possible.
The Gap is only one element of the High Street Project and further works are expected on other properties where the owners have applied for a grant to fund repairs during the next 2 years. We anticipate the second half of the project will see significant improvements to some of the other buildings on the High Street in need of restoration and repair.