‘Very costly’ repairs for parish office

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INITIAL repairs to a “neglected” council building in Holbeach will cost more than £11,000 – with “very costly” work still to be done.

New guttering will be put in place, repairs made to the roof and work done on the drainage at the Coubro Chambers as part of the first stages of a repair scheme being carried out by Holbeach Parish Council.

The extent of the damage was revealed in September after a surveyor had been called in to inspect the building.

At the council’s November meeting on Monday, it was confirmed that D Brown and Company will carry out the first bit of work at a cost of £11,316 plus VAT.

Coun Esmond Tearle, chairman of properties, said the council has been left with no alternative but to do the work.

“So stage one of the repair schemes to put right years of neglect to this parish council-owned property will cost the rate payers £11,316,” he said.

“The alternative was to turn a blind eye and let it decay even further. We all know that we simply could not do that.”

Coun Tearle also reminded councillors of the significant work still to be considered.

He said the building on West End must be left to dry out naturally before the damp could be dealt with. He warned timber rot could be a problem and the wooden floors on the ground and first floors must be taken up to reveal the extent of the damage.

He continued: “In my opinion, the subsidence will be a very major issue and will no doubt prove very costly to put right.”

The window frames on the building, which is in a conservation area, will also have to be looked at in the future.

The council is now exploring the possibility of securing grants and loans to help pay for some of the work.