Tuesday, October 24, 2023

News: Owners of eyesore Rotherham site prosecuted


Rotherham Council has successfully prosecuted a company after fire services were called out five times within a year to deal with fires within a derelict building and grounds.

Millside Developments Ltd were taken to court for their failure to comply with notices served under the Anti-social Behavior, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Sheffield Magistrates Court heard how a former school and training centre, the Millside Centre, on Doncaster Road in Dalton, was visited by Council officers following complaints of fire damage, broken windows, and open access to the building and grounds.

The authority agreed to dispose of the property in 2012 after it was deemed surplus to the requirements. Auctioneers, Mark Jenkinson & Son, sold the lot for £175,000 in 2017 and it was wrecked by fire in the same year. In 2021, outline planning approval was secured for a residential scheme on the site, which was sold again after going to auction.

In addition to the reported fires in 2021 and 2022, the building was attracting anti-social behavior, fly tipping and rough sleeping. Concerns had been raised around the potential harm to someone accessing the building, as well as the site having a detrimental effect on the surrounding area.

Following evidence collected on site showing easy access to the building and perimeter, notices were sent to the owners ordering the premises be secured, a structural survey to be carried out, and for the waste to be removed and properly disposed of.

Failing to comply with the notices, the company was found guilty in their absence from court, fined £5000 and ordered to pay £2,819 costs and a victim surcharge of £2,000.

Former Cabinet Member for Transport and the Environment, Cllr. Dominic Beck, said: "I hope this case sends out a message to all companies to secure their empty premises and prevent them to be used as a dumping ground for waste.

“It makes the area look unkempt and uncared for, affecting the wellbeing of residents. We are committed to doing what we can to hold owners to account and I am pleased that we have secured these convictions as a deterrent to others.”

Shayne Tottie, Rotherham district commander at South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said: “We welcome this prosecution by Rotherham Council. Repeated call outs to preventable incidents such as this tie up our resources and, more importantly, put lives at risk.

“If you own a business and are not sure what responsibilities you have when it comes to fire safety, we have plenty of resources on our website to help you ensure your business is compliant.”

Images: Pugh Auctions


Anonymous,  October 24, 2023 at 1:49 PM  

Millside Developments Ltd, based in Bradford.

Makes sense.

Anonymous,  October 24, 2023 at 2:33 PM  

Bit of double standards going on here. Good news they've take action on this site, now will any enforcement action take place against the owners of the burned out and derelict buildings in the town centre.

The Cross Keys would be a good place to start.

Anonymous,  October 26, 2023 at 7:06 AM  

They can't be expected to multi task

Anonymous,  October 26, 2023 at 11:33 PM  

Not true. Planning can screw up multiple tasks at the same time.

Anonymous,  October 27, 2023 at 11:57 AM  

I'm sure there's a recurring theme with the owners of these eyesore buildings, I just can't think what it is...

Anonymous,  October 27, 2023 at 3:57 PM  

Get a pocket park there.🤔

Anonymous,  October 27, 2023 at 6:26 PM  

Pocket parks should be burnt to ashes and tipped into the River Rother (the Don is full)

Anonymous,  November 7, 2023 at 8:14 AM  

Starting to look good. Real progress being made. Just had a look at the site from High Street and it's marvelous what has been achieved in just a few short years.

Anonymous,  March 20, 2024 at 3:02 PM  

Who is the owner as I am wanting to rent it and do it up as I am a property management

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