Renewed calls to improve a Skegness ‘monstrosity’ have been made by a concerned resident who wants the long-standing bone of contention resolved urgently.
Rob Curtis has asked town councillors why the Wiltex building on Roman Bank couldn’t be ‘spruced up’ in the same way a dilapidated old Wainfleet pub had been recently improved.
Speaking during the public session of Wednesday’s Skegness Town Council, Mr Curtis said: “The residents are continually complaining about the eyesore - they’ve got to look at a monstrosity.
“Wiltex has been like this for years and years without anything happening but a few residents in Wainfleet have complained and they get it spruced up.”
East Lindsey District Council last month spent £10,000 refurbishing Wainfleet’s Angel Inn, with the costs being charged back to the property, using a section 215 notice,to resolve a long-running source of discontent in the town.
Mr Curtis felt a similar course of action could be taken to improve the boarded up former factory on Roman Bank, which has been the subject of numerous complaints over the years.
Councillors sympathised with Mr Curtis’s concerns, but explained that it was unlikely to be resolved under a section 215 notice because, unlike The Angel Inn, it was not in a heritage area.
The Mayor of Skegness Coun Mark Anderson said: “It’s been raised on several occasions,I myself have asked the same question.
“It’s a health and safety issue and it needs sorting out but without a CPO (compulsory purchase order), which means spending a lot of money there’s not a lot we can do.”
Coun Carl Macey, explained that Coun Steve O’Dare was working on resolving the issue but couldn’t disclose his plans due to its ‘commercially sensitive’ nature.
ELDC’s portfolio holder for the economy Coun Craig Leyland has since conceded that the building ‘doesn’t look in a good condition aesthetically’ but warned that direct action to resolve it can be ‘complex and time consuming’.
HE said: ““The Wiltex building, a former factory, doesn’t look in a good condition aesthetically and in an ideal world we’d like to see a redevelopment of the whole site.
“Direct action and enforcement has to be looked at on a case by case basis and the issues can be complex and time consuming.
“Also, the direct action needed has to be affordable within the budget the council has available, as it often takes a number of years to be repaid to the council through a land charge.
“The resources we do have available for direct action we are targeting where it will make the greatest difference to the community.
“We will investigate the issues raised by the Town Council and local community in relation to the Wiltex building.”