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Allerdale Borough Council,
Allerdale House,
CA14 3YJ


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20/09/2005 - Owner of dilapidated shop prosecuted

The owner of a long-term empty and dilapidated shop in Workington has been successfully prosecuted by Allerdale Borough Council in a test case.

David McAllister, of Skinner Street, Cockermouth, who is the freehold owner of the property at 75 Corporation Road, Workington, pleaded guilty, at West Allerdale Magistrates Court on Tuesday 20 September 2005, to failing to carry out a schedule of repairs and restoration within 90 days following a notice served by the Council under section 79(1) of the Building Act 1984.

For several years, following complaints from local residents and representations from a ward councillor, two officers of the Council, Richard Battye and Eddie Dawson, have been trying to persuade Mr McAllister to take action to resolve problems being caused by the dilapidated building.

Despite planning consent to convert the redundant shop into a dwelling Mr McAllister took no significant action to renovate or remove the building and its appearance on the streetscape was considered to be seriously detrimental to the area, blighting the locality.

Following the failure of the owner to respond to informal pressure a statutory notice was served upon him under Section 79 of the Building Act 1984 requiring an owner to deal with a “ruinous or dilapidated” building, either by renovation or demolition.

This did not happen and, rather than prepare to carryout direct works in default as with other similar properties, the decision was taken to prosecute the owner.

Mr McAllister was fined £100 and ordered to pay £75 costs with 28 days to pay. In addition he could be fined £2 per day until the notice is complied with, although his solicitor gave an undertaking in court that redevelopment works would commence as soon as practicable.

Eddie Dawson, Senior Technician with Allerdale Borough Council’s Housing Services, said: “This was very much a test case for the Housing Services section and, with this success, there are many other dilapidated buildings throughout the borough where the same action is intended and, hopefully the level of fine will increase.”

Richard Battye, Environmental Health Officer, added: “It can take several years for the legal process to run its course but the Housing Services Section is determined to deal with the problem of long-term empty and dilapidated properties.”


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0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council
Allerdale House, Workington, Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ