In May owners of a dangerous building in Battle Road were taken to court and given 16 weeks to repair or demolish the structure – their time is up so what happens next?
A spokesman for Hastings Borough Council (HBC) has told us: “The council is aware that seemingly no action has been taken by the property owners and has been monitoring the situation.”
It was late in May when (HBC) obtained a court order, under Section 77 of the Building Act 1984, requiring the owners to remove the danger posed by the structure either by repairing or demolishing it. The court order gave the owners 16 weeks to carry out the works.
With no significant works having been carried out since the order was obtained what happens next? The HBC spokesman said: “With the deadline approaching the council is currently considering its next steps.”
HBC stated to monitor the structural problems at the Battle Road structure when a councillor highlighted their concerns to the planning enforcement and building control teams and made the owners aware of their concerns. As soon as the monitoring started to show signs that the condition of the structure was worsening, the council began formal enforcement action against the owners.
Then on May 15th this year East Sussex County Council’s Highways team shut the public footpath running under the structure, in the interest of public safety.
When the court order was obtained Councillor Kim Forward, leader of the council and lead councillor for planning and enforcement said: “It is disappointing that the owners of this structure have let it fall into this state. It is even more disappointing that despite us having contacted them about this they have failed to do anything to address its condition.
“We were left with no alternative but to take court action after discussing the results of the monitoring with our structural engineer because of our fears about the danger posed to the public.
“We are delighted that the court has recognised our concerns and issued the order requiring the property owners to make the arches safe.”
At the same time a council spokesman said HBC would: “ensure the necessary actions are taken to protect local residents.”