December 13 2013 Latest news:
Friday, November 1, 2013
Eyesores across the borough are in the crosshairs, as a legal notice was slapped on an “appalling” Great Yarmouth building .
Town hall chiefs ordered improvements to Vauxhall House, behind Great Yarmouth railway station, after receiving a string of complaints about it.
The building, currently occupied by Cash 4 Clothes, has many broken and boarded-up windows, and the external paintwork is patchy and flaking away.
It must be brought up to scratch by January 20, 2014, or its owners face a £1,000 fine, or for the borough council to carry out improvements and recover its costs through the courts.
Vauxhall House is the latest in a series of unsightly buildings to face legal action, and locals are asked to flag other problem sites to the council.
Recent targets include Bombay Nite curry house in King Street, whose owners were ordered to repaint the building and carry out repairs.
The former art college had to have new windows fitted, boarding removed and railings repaired, and the former Royal Oak pub in Ormesby had to tidy up overgrown grass in front of it.
And the Two Bears Hotel, in Pasteur Road, still has a legal notice hanging over it - though plans are now afoot to demolish it to make way for a retail unit.
Trevor Wainwright, borough council leader, said issues are on their radar, and enforcement officers keep a watching brief as they patrol the borough.
But he added: “If anybody has got anything they want to bring to our attention, they should certainly do so.”
While the derelict seafront guest houses of the 1980s are largely a solved problem, he said the main challenge facing the authority is the empty homes across the borough.
Though Vauxhall House - which he described as “appalling” - is a high priority as it is at the town gateway.
“Vauxhall House has been an eyesore for some years and its negative impact on the town is only more obvious now that the eastern half of nearby Vauxhall Bridge has been refurbished,” he explained. “First impressions of a town always count in terms of attracting new businesses, investment and holiday visitors, so it is vital that all buildings on this key gateway site are up to standard.
“Moreover, it is important for existing residents and businesses that they continue to feel proud about being in the area, and we do not leave the door open to crime and vandalism through the so-called ‘broken window syndrome’.
“The borough council regularly uses these powers to secure the tidying-up of land and buildings, and the authority has also taken enforcement action in the past where works have not been undertaken.
“We look forward to improvement work starting soon on Vauxhall House.”
The notice, under section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, requires work to be completed, by January 20, 2014, to remove all the boards at ground and first floor levels, and to glaze all window openings.
It also requires all external window frames, doors and door frames on the building to be repainted by the same date.
Failure to comply with the notice is a criminal offence, carrying a fine of up to £1,000.
The notice, which came into effect on October 20, was served on the occupants Cash 4 Clothes, the registered owner Gilling Ltd, and the firm DPKBV Ltd, which pays business rates for the building.
DPKBV Ltd has provided a written statement of intention to carry out the works, which are estimated by the borough council at between £20,000 and £30,000.
In the event the improvements are not made, the borough council, as well as criminal prosecution, has the option to carry out the work in default, place a charge on the land and recover the costs through the courts.
Do you think other eyesore buildings in the borough need to be targeted? Write to Great Yarmouth Mercury, 169 King Street, Yarmouth, NR30 2PA or email firstname.lastname@example.org