Published June 4, 2018 at 14:29
The owners of the rundown former Woolworths store in Bacup have six months to improve its condition.
Christopher and Pauline Murphy withdrew an appeal against a legal notice issued by Rossendale Council requiring them to carry out work to the building in St James Square.
Rossendale Council originally issued a section 215 maintenance notice in October 2017 because the building’s condition is adversely affecting the amenity of the area.
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 included repainting the shop front and down pipes; repairing, replacing and repainting fascia boards and replacing a missing downpipe.
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 will now have to do the work by November 26.
If they fail to do so, they could face prosecution and the Council could carry out the work in default and charge them for the cost.
Councillor Christine Lamb, Rossendale Council’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Regulatory Services, said:
This building is an eyesore and is adversely affecting the look of the local area. 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.
This case shows that 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 five-year regeneration programme which has received £2 million funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The exterior of the property 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.
Councillor 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.