Pendle Council could seize abandoned garages

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: The site of the derelict garages in Richard Street The site of the derelict garages in Richard Street

ANTI-SOCIAL behaviour at a block of abandoned garages Brierfield could prompt Pendle Council to buy the site.

The garage, in Richard Street, has been derelict for years but council officials have struggled to contact the firm which owns the land, which they believe is based in the British Virgin Islands.

The council’s Brierfield and Reedley committee will consider whether the authority should make a compulsory purchase order after several incidents of fly-tipping.

A previous attempt to contact the owner, Oakton Investments Limited, in November 2010, failed to draw a response.

It was served with a section 215 notice ordering it to remove all domestic waste from the land, cut the grass and weeds back to ground level, prune all trees and remove all the resulting cuttings.

Richard Townson, the council’s democratic and legal manager, said another similar notice could be served on the owners, although funding would be required. In a report, he said: “Whilst it may prove difficult to trace the landowner, it would still be open to the council to carry out the works in default.

“If the notice was to contain the same requirements as previously, I would not anticipate that the costs would be very significant.

“However, if the requirements of the notice were to include a requirement to erect a new perimeter fence, then the cost would be £10,367.”

The report also noted: “The site is on the Anti Social Behaviour Patrol Plan and is therefore regularly visited by the police.”

The cost of any potential compulsory purchase order is not yet known as the council’s property managers cannot gain access to the individual garages.

The Brierfield and Reedley committee will discuss the future of the garages when it meets at Brierfield Town Hall, in Colne Road, on January 7 at 7pm.

Comments (1)

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7:44pm Thu 2 Jan 14

Legal Beagle says...

So three years have passed since they served the notice and they've still done nothing at all? And in the meantime the ratepayer is having to stump up for the police patrols.

Why don't they just CPO it, get it sold and reimburse themselves out of the sale proceeds? The new owner would then no doubt clear up this mess and put the land to good use.

If there's any money left over they can just pay it into court until the owner finally turns up. Though as BVI companies are often used by somewhat `unconventional' businesses who require secrecy and anonymity there's a pretty good chance that will never happen.
So three years have passed since they served the notice and they've still done nothing at all? And in the meantime the ratepayer is having to stump up for the police patrols. Why don't they just CPO it, get it sold and reimburse themselves out of the sale proceeds? The new owner would then no doubt clear up this mess and put the land to good use. If there's any money left over they can just pay it into court until the owner finally turns up. Though as BVI companies are often used by somewhat `unconventional' businesses who require secrecy and anonymity there's a pretty good chance that will never happen. Legal Beagle

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