Thursday, November 8, 2018

News: Rotherham property owner "should be ashamed" of blighted buildings

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A local councillor has blasted a "slippery" property owner for leaving his burnt out buildings derelict for years on a key location in Rotherham town centre.

Last year, Rothbiz reported that Rotherham Council were reaching the "last resort" having failed to engage with the absentee owners of 3-7 Corporation Street despite numerous attempts.

Having been asked by opposition councillor, Michael Elliott, about the slow progress of proposals for a compulsory purchase order (CPO) to acquire the two burnt out buildings, Cllr. Denise Lelliott, cabinet member for jobs and the local economy at Rotherham Council, said that the owners "should be ashamed" by leaving the buildings in a sorry state for so long.

On the key route through town, the former Envy nightclub building, which suffered a malicious fire in 2007, and Muskaan restaurant, which was closed after a fire in 2011, have been left empty ever since, and whilst not structurally unsafe, the buildings are widely acknowledged to be an eyesore.

2014 outline plans for residential apartments with retail on the ground floor never got past the pre-application stage. Just months after the Council announced plans for a CPO, agents submitted new plans for an apartment block on the site containing 64 flats - a mix of studios, 1 bedroom and 2 bedroom units.

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Speaking at a council meeting, Cllr. Lelliott told members that steps were underway to identify the property rights and ownership details ahead of a possible compulsory purchase. Negotiations could resume later this month with the owners and other interested parties.

Cllr. Lelliott added: "It has always been an absolute bane of my life, the burnt out buildings on Corporation Street. Unfortunately there are processes to go through. We have tried, and we are in the process of making contact with the owner - he is a bit slippery to get hold off. We have tried on many occasions.

"A compulsory purchase order means that you have to go through certain legal processes. Not the owner, but an agent, came forward with a plan to put housing on that particular site and it wasn't viable. It didn't fit in with our supplementary planning document.

"With a compulsory purchase order you've got to prove that there is no use for that building. It is viewed as draconian if you try to take it off them. If somebody comes forward with a valid planning application then you have to follow that. You have to be able to protect people that own properties."

The councillor has previously said that she would drive the bulldozer herself to see these buildings demolished.

Cllr. Lelliott added: "They are an eyesore and a blight on the town centre and I'll say it here, the owners of them buildings, they ought to be ashamed of themselves to actually leave our town [like this] - and they know who they are, and if they are watching this, and people may know them - they ought to be ashamed of themselves, because its not through lack of hard work on our side to get these people round the table to do something with the buildings.

"They choose not to engage. They choose to keep Rotherham, Corporation Street and our developments like it is. They choose that that gateway looks like it is and they ought to be ashamed of themselves."

Images: Google Maps

3 comments:

Anonymous,  November 8, 2018 at 2:17 PM  

There were people living in the roof space of the Indian restaurant not long before it burned down. The toilets were upstairs and one time I visited, a doorway into the roof space was accidentally left open. I looked through and in the roof space were many many mattresses- probably a dozen at least.

Anonymous,  November 8, 2018 at 5:49 PM  

I have also seen them mattresses, believed to be some staff of the restaurant..
It’s annoying when people don’t look after their property or sell it on , I have a property in swinton affected by another 2 run down flats - it’s selfish

Anonymous,  November 8, 2018 at 8:33 PM  

On reflection
Rotherham council have done nothing to save our town
Apart from butter us up with festivals and street markets
Our town was a beautiful bustling place to shop
Now it's a residentialno go zone
So a burnt out building is the least of our worries

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