Eyesore could be on way out

Margaret Chadwick at No.11 Landsdowne Road'PA1106-23c
Margaret Chadwick at No.11 Landsdowne Road'PA1106-23c

REMOVING one of Bridlington’s housing eyesores has taken another step forward.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council said it is hopeful a buyer will be found for number 11 Lansdowne Road, empty and a blot on the local landscape for more than a dozen years.

After prolonged and unsuccessful negotiations with the property owners, the council took the step in 2009 of the compulsory purchase of the run-down block of five self-contained flats which had become semi-derelict, a magnet for vandals and vermin and a danger.

The council put it up for sale by tender on condition the buyer brings it back into use for housing and after a viewing session last month the council said there had been “some interest in the property”.

“It is up for sale by tender and the closing date for the submission of offers is February 15.

“The council’s hope is it is taken on by a developer or local builder who can bring it back into use for housing as soon as possible,” said a council spokesman.

Whoever submits the successful bid will have to carry out an agreed programme of work to make it habitable again within a specified time frame. The Lansdowne Road property was the first time the council had used its powers of compulsory purchase under such circumstances and hopes it is as successful as a more recent and similar action involving a property in Hessle near Hull.

“That was taken on by a builder who was able to put the property back on the market in around three months,” said the spokesman.

It said that bringing such empty properties back on to the market benefits families seeking affordable housing and local residents who do not have to live with unsightly empty properties.

The council’s private sector housing team is keen to work with the owners of residential properties that have been empty for more than six months, and help and practical support is available to bring them back into use.

Any property owners who reject or ignore the council’s efforts to work with them could ultimately face enforcement action.

Local ward Councillor Margaret Chadwick, who has been campaigning for something to be done about the property for around 14 years, said: “It has been a long struggle but we are getting there in the end.”