End of the Bear

PUBLISHED: 17:24 05 October 2006 | UPDATED: 10:57 06 May 2010

Flashback to The Comet in August when the fire took place

Flashback to The Comet in August when the fire took place

THE remains of the Black Bear pub are to be demolished. The building, one of the oldest in Biggleswade dating back to 1661, was gutted by a mystery blaze on August 7. The owner of the building in Hitchin Street in the town centre has welcomed the decision

THE remains of the Black Bear pub are to be demolished.

The building, one of the oldest in Biggleswade dating back to 1661, was gutted by a mystery blaze on August 7.

The owner of the building in Hitchin Street in the town centre has welcomed the decision by Biggleswade Town Council to allow him to demolish what remains of the pub that had been empty for several years.

The blackened shell of the old building is currently being held up by scaffolding. An alley at the side of the building and footpath at the front have remained closed since the blaze.

Paul Wogman chairman of Darjan Estates, owners of the Black Bear and the land at the rear, says he is now keen to clear the site as soon as possible, hopefully by Christmas.

Darjan Estates hope to be able to deliver plans to the town council as soon as possible for the building of housing, office space and shop outlets on the site.

Talking exclusively to The Comet, Mr Wogman said: "We hope within the next six weeks we will have a better picture of the way forward for this site.

"We will be sensible with our pre-planning application and our consultation is already at the amber light stage.

"Now the council has given permission for the building to be demolished we can now move ahead as quickly as possible and demolish the building and clear the site.

"I want to get what is left of the building down as quickly as possible before the winter is upon us and any of the structure that is still standing is in danger from coming down in high winds.

"We will commence work as soon as possible and we might be ready to roll as early as next week.

"This is the first step in the right direction to clear what is now an eyesore in the town centre and with public safety in mind. Once the work has been done to clear the old building the pavement will be reopened for the public and for parking and the public footpath at the side of the building.

"We believe there will be a demand in the town for our scheme for the site."

The cause of the fire was believed to be arson but the police investigation continues.


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