Councils have legal powers at their disposal to tackle eyesore properties. Read how Hastings council used the powers to change their high street for the better here. Because many people have told us they don’t like local eyesore properties Lee Forum has been urging Lewisham and Greenwich councils for some time to use their powers as Hastings has done.
A petition has been started by a local resident and forum member. It asks for enforcement cases of buildings in urgent need of repair to be listed on council websites (as Hastings does), which would make the whole system much more transparent, so that people living and working near a dilapidated building can actually see that the council have taken note and are doing something about it.
The petition wording and link are given below. Please consider clicking and signing.
Online petition “List eyesore property enforcements on council websites”
All over the UK there are eyesore properties. They stand festering for years, getting more and more dilapidated, depressing everyone who sees them, spoiling the look of the local area, attracting flyposting, flytipping and worse.
Local councils have legal powers to do something about this, under Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and they do sometimes use this power when an an eyesore property is reported to them. They write a letter to the owner, giving them a deadline of usually a few months to get the necessary repairs done. But more often than not the deadline passes, the owner has ignored the letter and done nothing. The next step is for the council to take the owner to court, but how often does that happen?
Time and time again, local residents like me who have reported an eyesore property are disappointed and frustrated, because the local council doesn’t follow through. And when that local resident tries to get an update, the council ignores them. For example, the photo on the petition shows a dilapidated corner shop with flats above it in south-east London which was reported to the council in June 2016. It was made an enforcement case, but no repairs have been done, and the council are not replying to emails asking for an update. The shop closed down in May 2017 – it’s been suggested that the offputting appearance of the building had something to do with the business failing.
So please sign this petition – if it means a change in the law, then let’s go for it. Because as council tax payers we have the right to see greater transparency in what our local councils are doing, or not doing, on our behalf. It will give those councils the motivation to keep up the pressure on owners to do essential repairs, because the information will be visible for all to see.
Let’s all get together to make eyesore properties a thing of the the past, and help raise the standards of neighbourhoods all over the country. Thank you.