six months to improve ‘eyesore’ building
THE owners of the ‘eyesore’ former Woolworths store in Bacup have been given six months to improve its condition.
Christopher and Pauline Murphy withdrew an appeal against a Rossendale council legal notice requiring them to carry out work to the building in St James Square.
The council originally issued a section 215 maintenance notice in October 2017 saying the building’s condition was adversely affecting the amenity of the area. ●● The former Woolworths building in Bacup
It required the owners to carry out improvements by April this year such as cleaning the brick and stonework; installing and replacing guttering and repainting boards on the windows. Other work required included repainting the shop front and down pipes; repairing, replacing and repainting fascia boards and replacing a missing down- pipe. Mr and Mrs Murphy appealed the notice and the case was due to be heard at Burnley Magistrates’ Court. But they subsequently withdraw their appeal and now have until November 26 to comply. If they fail to do so, they could face prosecution and the council could bill them for carrying out the work in default.
Coun Christine Lamb, cabinet member for regulatory services, said the building is ‘an eyesore’ and is adversely affecting the look of the local area.
She said: “It is not fair on businesses, residents and visitors who have to put up with it. I’m pleased that the work to improve the building, which should have originally been completed by now, will finally be carried out.
“We will consider legal action, where appropriate, if commercial property owners do not look after their buildings.”
The action was taken by the council as part of work to improve Bacup town centre. This includes the Bacup Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI), a fiveyear regeneration programme which has received £2m from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The exterior of the prop- erty next to the former Woolworths building has been refurbished through the THI, along with other shopfronts, and improvements are planned to the pavements and road layout in St James Square. Consultation has also recently been carried out on the future of Waterside Mill on Burnley Road.
Coun Lamb added: “We are working hard to improve Bacup and it is nice see its buildings looking better. We want the town to be a place where people are proud to live, work and visit.”
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