Friday, July 28, 2006

Compulsory Purchase Action

Plans to take compulsory purchase action on an empty property in Cliftonville have been agreed by Thanet Council’s Cabinet.

The group of buildings at 12-15 Cliff Terrace, opposite the Lido, has former shop units on the ground floor with accommodation above them. They have been owned by the same person since the late 1940’s and have been empty for more than a decade. Cabinet Members were last night (Thursday 27 July) told that a feasibility study of the work needed was funded by Thanet Council in 1998 and the owner was given the opportunity to take advantage of substantial grant aid towards the required work, but he did not take up this option.

Since then, numerous meetings have been held with the owner and developers have expressed an interest in purchasing the properties, but no progress has been made.

In November 2005, the “No Use Empty” campaign was launched, building on Thanet Council’s Empty Property Strategy, which was adopted in 2003. The new campaign brings together Thanet, Dover, Shepway and Swale District Councils with Kent County Council and is funded by £5 million from central government to help bring forward compulsory purchase action.

Cllr. Ingrid Spencer, Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Services, said: “It’s thanks to the Council’s participation in the “No Use Empty” campaign that we are finally able to take action over this eyesore building that has blighted the area for so many years. This money allows Thanet, along with the other coastal areas, to tackle long term problems like 12 – 15 Cliff Terrace, where negotiations have produced no results. When we joined the campaign a few months ago, we asked our officers to find prime candidates for action and they put forward this property as their top priority for action and rightly so. For too long now, this building has been blighting the area. By taking this action, we should eventually be able to have a property to be proud of.”
The owner of the property is still able to carry out the required work or sell the building to a developer with an agreed programme of works, before the property is compulsorily purchased. Should the Compulsory Purchase Order go ahead, the Council would enter into a partnership agreement with a Registered Social Landlord, who would purchase and develop the property from the Council upon the completion of the Order. They would then return the property back into residential use.


Anonymous said...

anon again!

Well! I would pay the owner of that piece of property 00.1p as a holding Compulsory Purchase Order.
If he/she cannot be bothered with it for 40 odd years... then time is up.... I would have given them a year!
What about that eyesore at the bottom of Elephant Hill? That's a tumbling dump also! TDC... go get it!!!!!!!!!

stuart said...

That property is in a disgusting state and some action is long over due.

That said, i find it quite amazing what the council can do when they want to. Compulsory purchase of this building, compulsory purchase of houses to build Westwood Cross, purchase of the M&S building, supporting the Turner initiative etc etc etc.

That's why when Sandy says that Dreamland and what Waterbridge does there is out of it's control we don't really believe him.

There's other ways of dealing with this Cliftonville eyesore. The owner could have been issued with numerous enforcement notices a long time ago etc. I wouldn't mind betting someones 'mate' wants to develop it.

Anonymous said...

The thing to realize here is the council staff who are involved in this will learn from it. Some of them may not have done it before and once they've dealt with one project their confidence will grow and their efficiency will increase and eventually they will be able to do it with thei eyes closed to coin a phrase.

Anonymous said...

if it can be done with their eyes shut then TDC are really the right people for the job.
I had hoped they had improved yet I encounter the same resistance to action and disinterest in doing their jobs properly fromt he council officers as I used to 3 or 4 years ago.