[A] dilapidated and damaged building in Wearisome, on the southern edge of Appleby, which has attracted complaints for a number of years has had building works carried out to it and tidied up by the Eden District Council’s Planning Department after legal notices were served on the owner.
The building stands on the highway on Parking Hill road (B6260) and is located approximately 800 metres south of Appleby. Therefore the property is in a prominent location when travelling to Appleby from the Yorkshire Dales villages of Maulds Meaburn, Great Asby or Crosby Ravensworth.
The owner was encouraged to carry out remedial works to improve the condition and appearance of the building; particularly after a car crashed into the side of the property in 2013. However when the works were not carried out voluntarily the Council issued a section 215 (untidy land) notice under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 on the 11 March 2015 requiring the owner to remove all rubble from the front of the land, repair the damaged wall and board up all windows. Councils can issues untidy land notice when the condition and appearance of the land is such that it causes harm to the local area.
The owner failed to comply with the notice. Failure to comply with an untidy land notice constitutes a criminal offence, but it also provides Council’s with the powers to enter the land carry out the required works and charge the owner for the Council’s reasonable costs. The Council chose the latter course as prosecuting the owner would not have resolved the matter and the condition and appearance of the building would have still been an eyesore when travelling to and from Appleby.
Works were completed by contractors on the Council’s behalf recently and the owner will be billed for the costs of the works.
The direct action that was taken on site by the planning department is one of a number of historic sites that the Council is taking a robust stance on. The Council have begun taking direct action on other sites where legal notices have not been complied with. Furthermore, the Planning Department will be cracking down on developers that do not comply with their planning conditions by serving breach of condition notices. Finally, if there is any unauthorised development that is causing immediate harm to residents the Council has been issuing Temporary Stop Notices which ensure the breach ceases immediately or the developer will be committing a criminal offence.
Eden District Council’s Economic Development Portfolio Holder, for Councillor Michael Slee, said: “The building was an eyesore and has now been improved. I would have much preferred that the owner complied with the legal notice rather than our Planning Department having to take action on the property directly. However, hopefully other owners of land that have become eyesores take notice of the Council’s robust stance and improve their land accordingly.
“We are investing in our Planning Department and we will have a Planning Enforcement Officer to support the planning officers in the very near future. Therefore, I hope landowners and developers take note that if they fall foul of planning law then they are likely to receive a visit from our Planning Department and could end up with a large bill or a day in court.”
Eden District Council provides a planning advice service that gives expert advice on planning law and whether or not a proposal requires planning permission or not so if members of the public are ever in doubt we would urge them to seek advice first.
For more information visit www.eden.gov.uk or call 01768 817817.