Scruffy building: Owner hit with big fine
The owner of a Boston property has been ordered to pay £1,379 after failing to comply with an order from Boston Borough Council to renovate the building at 32 High Street.
Mark Kirkham appeared before Boston Magistrates on December 19 and pleaded guilty to failing to comply with the requirements of the notice. He was fined £700 and was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £70 and Boston Borough Council's costs of £609.23, a total of £1,379.23. He was given 28 days to pay the full amount.
Complaints were received by Boston Borough Council about the untidy state 32 High Street, Boston. The shop front was boarded up and in a general poor state of repair and was in need of refurbishment. Earlier action by the council had resulted in the redecoration of the upper floors of the building but the shop front was left in disrepair.
The High Street is within the Boston Conservation Area and 32 High Street is also a listed building and therefore of special architectural and historical importance. The area is part of a wider area of Boston, centred on the town's Market Place where Boston Borough Council, in partnership with English Heritage, offers grants of up to 90 per cent of the cost of restoring historic buildings. This property was identified as one being eligible for a grant and Mr Kirkham was offered a grant to restore the shop front and, despite detailed plans being drawn up by the council for a replacement shop front, Mr Kirkham failed to take up the offer of a grant.
Following a long period of negotiations between the council and Mr Kirkham no progress was made and subsequently the council served a notice under powers granted by the Town and Country Planning Act that legally required that works be carried out to improve the appearance of the property.
Mr Kirkham failed to comply with the requirements of the notice.
Council Leader, Cllr Peter Bedford, said after the hearing: "The council hopes that this action will serve as a reminder to owners of all buildings that they are required to maintain them in satisfactory condition and where buildings or land are left to deteriorate and have a negative impact on neighbours and the local area then the council will consider using its legal powers to seek improvements and this ultimately could result in legal action being taken against the owner."