Fury over West Cumbria conservation area eyesore
Last updated at 19:48, Thursday, 29 March 2012
This is the eyesore building that residents of a Workington conservation area say is an embarrassment to its owner, Cumbria County Council.
Residents of Elizabeth Street say they are disgusted by the run-down state of the former Fieldside House, which was left vacant by the council for two years.
Allerdale councillor Michael Heaslip, who has lived on the street for over 20 years, branded the building “a disgrace”.
He said: “It is gross anti-social behaviour by the county council and is verging on criminal negligence.
“I will be asking Allerdale to take enforcement action as it is in a conservation area and it is neglected, in disrepair and there is the problem of a health risk given the sightings of rats.
“Residents have about had enough of the county council.”
The building has been owned by the county council for five years. It was mainly used for storage and was boarded up 12 months ago after windows were smashed.
Resident Harry Eilbeck, 70, said: “It is all red tape for the residents and not for the council. We have had excuse after excuse and they have done nothing about it.”
Maxine Wintrup, 72, who has lived on the street for 20 years, said: “We have just about given up hope. We try to make our houses look nice and the council don’t seem to care.”
Mark Scott, 41, said: “When housing is at such a premium it is a scandal that the council holds on to ownership of such a building and lets it go to ruin. It will cost us ultimately through our council tax.”
Lisa Taylor, said: “It is a conservation area and they are letting it go to rack and ruin.”
A Cumbria County Council spokesman said: “Cumbria County Council does own Fieldside House and while there are no finalised plans regarding the future of the building, its status is under review and decisions about longer term plans will be taken at the appropriate time.
“Given the wide range of properties owned by the county council we have to prioritise spending across our properties accordingly.
“The council has taken steps to ensure Fieldside House is secure and protected from the elements.”
First published at 19:23, Thursday, 29 March 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
Have your say
As this house used to be used as housing for adults with learning disabilities it would only be right and proper if Cumbria County Council returned it to the Minimum Homes Standard before they put it up fore sale as they have left it to devolve into disrepair. If this was owned by a private individual that person would have been on the sharp end of an enforcement action by now. The Council will no doubt plead poverty but they are the legal owners hence it is their duty to have kept on top of the maintenance required for this building.
Why don't they sell it if they are not using it? Surely it must be costing money to keep it in its present state? Knowing the Council as soon as it is sold they will be threatening the new owner to get it repaired as it is bringing down the area.