If you’re an Eastbourne Can regular, you’ll know that one of our jobs for 2012 is helping to sort out the six empty shops opposite the station.
We’re pleased to say that things are moving in the right direction.
First off, the six shops are now just five thanks to the re-opening of Harrison’s sandwich bar.
Also the council has served S215 notices on a couple of the other shops. What’s that you ask? Eastbourne Can member Gary, a local solicitor, explains:
“If the poor condition of a property adversely affects the “amenity” of a neighbourhood then a council can serve a notice under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 requiring improvement works to be carried out.
“The poor condition can amount to as little as a messy garden or flaking paintwork, and a complaint from a member of the public can be enough to get a council to take action.
“The council gets the ball rolling by writing to the owner asking them for proposals for bringing the property up to standard, giving a deadline for a reply. If the owner has reasonable proposals and a timescale – say 12 to 18 months – the council will keep an eye on the situation.
“If nothing happens the council can set a deadline for work to be done and can ultimately take the owner to court. It could also carry out the work itself and charge the owner for doing so.
“Most of the time the threat of an S215 notice brings results. It’s hardly worth the owner employing lawyers to argue the point if a lick of paint will get the job done.”
We’ll keep an eye on the shops and let you know what happens.
In the meantime we’re thinking of starting a Spruce Up Squad! The idea is pretty simple – if enough of us pick up a mop and bucket then this problem will fix itself.
If you’d like to get involved you can sign up here.