Council’s get-tough policy on grot spots

Blot on the landscape? Spalding's Bull and Monkey pub.
Blot on the landscape? Spalding's Bull and Monkey pub.
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Time is running out for derelict buildings that have become a blot on the landscape across South Holland – and councillors want to know what you would like to see put in their place.

For years residents have campaigned for South Holland District Council to pick up the gauntlet and hold the owners of crumbling properties such as the Bull and Monkey pub and the Royal Mail sorting office in Spalding and the Red Cow in Donington to account.

But now councillors have been challenged by their leader Coun Gary Porter to supply him with a list of properties that need attention – with the promise things are about to change.

Coun Porter said in past years the council had given owners “a bit of slack” because of lack of housing demand and money.

He said: “Now we are coming out of recession and the demand for property is high we need to see things moving forward.

“The sorting office already has planning permission for flats and the town centre is crying out for more property.

“The council will no longer have sympathy with owners who do not get on with it.

“If necessary we will consider compulsory purchase – we can be bloody minded with them too.”

The change in policy follows a plan by the council to set up its own housing company to build homes for sale or rent.

How derelict buildings are dealt with will be considered under the Empty Dwelling Management Programme.

Coun Porter said: “We want a list of the buildings from councillors so we can pursue the owners and we want to hear from the public what they would like to see instead.”