Bill of £800 for failure to repair tiny house
It has been home to countless families for almost 240 years but lack of care over the last two decades has left the tiny terraced house in a sorry state.
Now council bosses have stepped in to force the owner of the two-up two-down in Cannock to take action.
This week Ron Turville was ordered to pay almost £800 in fines and costs for failing to make improvements to 365 Cannock Road in Hightown.
Cannock Chase Council first wrote to the 70-year-old in February last year(2013) after receiving complaints from neighbours about the state of the property.
They asked him to improve the look of the building, called Providence House, which was built in 1878 but has been unoccupied since the late 1990s.
Mr Turville was asked to board up the window set in the gable, re-render all exposed brickwork to match the original, replace the guttering to the front of the property and repaint the front and both sides of the property in an appropriate colour.
But despite several meetings with the pensioner, no work was carried out and enforcement action was taken through the serving of a notice last summer, requiring all works to be completed by July 25.
The council said some repairs were carried out at the property but the work was of an unacceptable standard and no more building has taken place at the house since.
Mr Turville, of Greenheath Road, Cannock, pleaded guilty when he appeared at Stafford Magistrates Court charged with non-compliance with a council notice. He was fined £300 and ordered to pay costs of £455 and a victim surcharge of £30.
Cannock planning leader Councillor Gordon Alcott said: "It is not acceptable for owners of properties to allow them to fall into terrible states of repair, meaning they become seriously detrimental to neighbouring properties and the general street scene.
"The condition of the building at 365 Cannock Road has caused growing concern, as no effort was being made to maintain it. We tried to work with Mr Turville over the best part of 12 months to make sure that the required improvements were made but unfortunately this didn't happen."
Now it seems it is the end of the line for the neglected house. The council said the owner informed the authority that the property is due to be demolished on September 1.
Councillor Alcott said: "Officers will be visiting shortly after that date to make sure demolition work has begun. If it hasn't, or if the requirements of the Section 215 Notice have not been met, then the council will be taking the matter further."
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