Considerable effort has been made by Fenland District Council to trace the owner of this building but unfortunately all efforts, including using international search agencies, have been unsuccessful.
It would seem there are two options moving forward; the first is to do nothing in the hope that the owner will reappear at some point, which is unlikely, and thereby the council will have no choice but to make safe and preserve the front façade.
The second option is for the council to undertake a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO), given that in reality the owner is untraceable. I appreciate that FDC may be reluctant to make a CPO however the Town and Country Planning Act does provide councils with a very wide power to acquire land and buildings to facilitate their improvement, development or redevelopment provided that this will bring social, environmental or economic benefits. It does not matter that the improvement, development or redevelopment is to be carried out by a third party, such as a purchaser from the council. This power will can be used where a vacant site is CPO’d so that development can be undertaken by a third party.
The least popular option is to do nothing and continue to wait for the owner to return.