Traders welcome fine over derelict building

The owners of the former Angel Hotel have been ordered to repair the derelict building
The owners of the former Angel Hotel have been ordered to repair the derelict building

Traders have welcomed a move to fine a town centre landlord for failing to carry out repairs.

Wellingborough Council instructed Mayfair Charities Ltd to improve the appearance of the former Angel Hotel, in Silver Street, Wellingborough, by repairing the outside.

The official notice and list of improvements were issued to the owners after more informal attempts to ask them to repair the building were unsuccessful. The prosecution occurred when the official notice was ignored and the landlord was fined £450 by a court.

The move has been welcomed by the Wellingborough Business Improvement District, which is a group of businesses who invest in projects which promote the town.

The group is so keen to see the town’s derelict buildings improved that its members say they are prepared to pay for the work themselves.

Improvement district manager Joanna Chapman said: “We feel that this is a strong statement by the council and we would like to see the council continue this strong start to 2012. The traders feel that it’s to the detriment of the town for these buildings to be derelict.

“We are in conversations with landlords in the town who are allowing their buildings to be derelict. It should be their responsibility to carry out repairs, but unfortunately they don’t always comply.

“The improvement district does have some funds available to improve the appearance of buildings when we can get the permission of the landlords.

“Our environment budget, which includes safety and security initiatives, recycling plus the project to reduce the unsightly nature of vacant and derelict town centre properties, is about £30,000 per year.”

Cllr Graham Lawman said: “The owners have assured us they will now comply with the notice and will begin the repairs by the end of the month. We will be watching and would expect the scaffolding to go up in the next few weeks. If it doesn’t we will issue instructions for them to be taken back to court.”