six months to im­prove ‘eye­sore’ build­ing

Rossendale Free Press - - Front Page -

STUART PIKE

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.”

READ The Scrib­bler col­umn on page eight.

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