- By reporter, Richard Lawrence
It's been more than three years since the destruction of the Royal Clarence hotel in Exeter - but what happens now?
It occupies part of the most important areas of Exeter tourist wise, and traders and other business owners are getting increasingly frustrated by the lack of progress on the site and the hoardings which only hide an empty construction site now that the portacabins and cranes have gone.
Some are left wondering will it ever be restored?
The exact cause and location of the start of the fire was never established, and the restoration of the building next door, where flames were first seen is well underway.
Andrew Brownsword the owner of the Royal Clarence chose to sell the site with planning permission for a new hotel last summer with a guide price of £2million.
An offer by the owner of the neighbouring property was rejected, but in the meantime traders are demanding the hoarding is scaled back.
They say it occupies far too much space creating bottlenecks for visitors, stealing light and shielding the view from some angles for passing trade.
I understand a second round of bids for the site has taken place. But, even if a buyer is selected now, it may be months before fresh building work takes place.
Andrew Brownsword Hotels, said the site remains up for sale - with "all parties working together to achieve its sale".
It added that the cordons were in place for safety reasons.
The owner of the nearby Southernhay House hotel, Deborah Clarke, has described the site as an "embarrassment for Exeter" and like many others, wants to see progress.
But what should happen now? She and other business owners question whether another 74 bedroom hotel without parking is viable, particularly as work is about to get underway to transform the upper stories of the House of Fraser store close by into another hotel.
So should other uses be considered? Her suggestions include the idea of creating an arcade with shops celebrating local produce on the ground floor with apartments above.