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Refurbishment of former pet store devastated by fire to be completed this year

PUBLISHED: 17:32 14 February 2018 | UPDATED: 19:43 14 February 2018

Neil MacLennan is redeveloping the former Bartrams pet food store in Beccles.  Picture: Nick Butcher

Neil MacLennan is redeveloping the former Bartrams pet food store in Beccles. Picture: Nick Butcher

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The refurbishment of a former pet store devastated by fire in 2015 is due to be complete this year.

The former Bartrams pet food store in Beccles is now being redeveloped after a fire in 2015.  Picture: Nick ButcherThe former Bartrams pet food store in Beccles is now being redeveloped after a fire in 2015. Picture: Nick Butcher

Bartram’s Pet Food and Garden Store was forced to close after fire swept through the roof of the building in New Market, Beccles.

The Grade-II listed property has remained empty ever since.

However, following its sale in 2017, the building’s new owners have carried out extensive improvement work.

And they are hoping to have the ground-floor shop, as well as the new apartments, up for sale in the next six to nine months.

The former Bartrams pet food store in Beccles is now being redeveloped after a fire in 2015.

Picture: Nick ButcherThe former Bartrams pet food store in Beccles is now being redeveloped after a fire in 2015. Picture: Nick Butcher

Neil MacLennan, who is developing the property along with D and J Metals Ltd, said a “sizeable investment” was made to refurbish the building.

He said: “The reason it has taken 12 months to get the roof water tight was because the roof was all burnt out.

“There has also been a lot of toing and froing with English Heritage as it is a Grade-II listed building.”

Mr MacLennan said “tens of thousands” had already been spent on hiring scaffolding and it cost a “six-figure-sum” to get the roof watertight.

The former Bartrams pet food store in Beccles is now being redeveloped after a fire in 2015.

Picture: Nick ButcherThe former Bartrams pet food store in Beccles is now being redeveloped after a fire in 2015. Picture: Nick Butcher

He said English Heritage had specified that parts of the burnt roof had to be retained.

“We could have done a far better job if we had been able to make a like-for-like roof out of oak,” he said.

“But a lot of burnt timbers had to be retained.”

Mr MacLennan said the ground floor of the property will go back to being a store. He added he was hoping to attract a national chain to take it on.

Meanwhile, the first and second floor is due to become apartments.

The three-bedroom bungalow to the rear of the property, which was once occupied by the pet shop’s owners, will go on sale next week.

Firefighters spent more than three hours attempting to control the blaze which ripped through the property almost three years ago.

The shop’s owners, who were living in the rear bungalow, were at home when the fire took hold, but managed to escape unharmed.

Bartram’s pet food and garden store had been open in the town since 1934.

Months after the fire, the family opened up a stall at the market and continued trading.

Speaking after the blaze, owner Ray Bartram said: “The whole Bartram family would like to thank everyone who gave us a hand .”

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