A FORMER butcher’s shop which closed suddenly is being investigated by environmental health officers after scores of dead flies appeared in its front window.

Frank Wright and Sons, in Crouch Street, closed in October after being a Colchester staple for about 80 years.

The business has not been in the control of the Wright family for about 11 years but the family continues to own the building freehold. 

But the premises has now been reported to Colchester Council, with residents citing a foul stench coming from the shop, dead flies and an orange “sludge” in the window display trays.

Gazette: Ex Frank Wright butchers shop in Crouch Street, Colchester, full of flies..

The Gazette has also received a complaint stating rats had been spotted in the premises although there is no evidence to support that claim.

The authority has confirmed an investigation has been opened.

One resident, who has complained to the council, said: “I have been in touch with environmental health as the stench from the shop was appalling and the flies, which are mainly now dead, are huge.

“There is now an orange sludge in the display tray too.

Gazette: Ex Frank Wright butchers shop in Crouch Street, Colchester, full of flies..

“Environmental health say there is nothing that they can do to clean it up the premises is in the hands of Frank Wright’s receivers.”

She added: “That end of Crouch Street is such an embarrassment to the town.”

Darius Laws (Con), Castle ward councillor, has called for council officers to take action.

He said: “The foul smell was the first thing that hit me and pretty quickly.

Gazette: Ex Frank Wright butchers shop in Crouch Street, Colchester, full of flies..

“Then there are the flies - loads of them - which really make the place look disgusting.

“It was horrible, it’s a hazard. I have been in touch with environmental health officers to ask what action can be taken.

“We should not sit back and let a premises descend into that sort of state.”

Mr Laws, who leads the Conservative group on Colchester Council, also said: “Crouch Street has so much potential.

Gazette: Ex Frank Wright butchers shop in Crouch Street, Colchester, full of flies..

"It is a wonderful place but it could be even better but this, and, of course, the Odeon, is something which must be addressed quickly before it gets out of hand.

A Colchester Council spokesman said: “We have investigated two complaints of an odour emanating from Frank Wright butchers.

“Despite three inspections of the premises by environmental health officers, no odour attributed to the former butchers was identified.

“The officers also noted dead flies in the shop indicating their source is no longer present.”

He added: “We have received no complaints of rats, from the neighbouring commercial premises, but will send our pest control team to investigate nevertheless.”

A statement from a spokesman for the Wright family said: "Mr & Mrs D Wright are the freeholders of Frank Wright & Son having sold the butchery business approximately 11 years ago. 

"They hope to gain possession of the property in the next ten days or so, however as freeholders possession is out of their control. 

"They are in a long legal process to regain possession after the business went into administration, but their hands are tied legally as their are processes they are having to adhere to.

"The owners of Frank Wright & Son have not been contactable since the business closed in October and their liquidators are also based in the north of England, complicating matters further.

"When we finally gain access, the premises will be made secure, the rubbish and waste removed and cleaned thoroughly throughout after advice from environmental health officers.

"Once this is complete the property will be being put up for sale, with Fenn Wright & Son Commercial dealing with the sale.

"We will not be making any further comments, but hope the above statement reassures all those concerned with the current condition of the property."