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Wednesday, 24 September 2014

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Demolition of eyesore house in west Cumbria was ‘last resort’

An abandoned house has been demolished after all attempts to get the owner to take responsibility for it failed.

Brigham Road house photo
The derelict house with overgrown garden

The overgrown eyesore on Brigham Road in Cockermouth has been levelled by Allerdale council as a “last resort”.

John Walsh, of Ashfield in Workington, understands that the house was inherited by Donald Waite, an old school friend with whom he has lost touch.

“It’s a massive shame as far as my mate is concerned because he will have lost a lot of money.”

A council officer visited the owner, who lives in the Derbyshire area, and offered help but no progress was made in tracing Mr Waite.

Numerous phone calls have been made and letters have also been sent.

The council had been involved with 19 Brigham Road since 2006 after a complaint was received about the property.

In July 2007 notice was served requiring the owner to carry out renovation works or demolish the property.

The law requires an owner to deal with a ruinous or dilapidated building either through renovation or demolition.

The council also had the house surveyed in 2009 but it was decided that renovation was “not financially viable”.

The council has also contacted housing associations, on the owner’s behalf, and at least three were interested. But because the owner did not pursue the matter there was little else that could be done. The council will charge the owner for the cost of demolition.

Failure to pay will result in the council enforcing the sale of the land to recover the costs.

Outline planning permission will be sought to ensure a home can be built on the land by a potential new owner.

A veteran property developer previously said he wanted to build his “dream family home” on the site. But Shaun Peter Rayson, 42, of Stricketts Court, Cockermouth, who owns several houses in the UK and abroad, claimed he has been trying to get hold of it since 2006 or 2007.

He made owner Mr Waite an offer of £85,000 a few years ago which was turned down.

Colin Johnstone, 65, a retired builder from Salterbeck, said his son had also been keen to buy the site.

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