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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

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Let me make Cumbrian eyesore my dream home, pleads builder

A veteran property developer wants to build his “dream family home” on the site of a house threatened with demolition.

Shaun Rayson photo
Shaun Rayson

The abandoned eyesore on Brigham Road in Cockermouth will be levelled by Allerdale council because the owner has refused to take responsibility for it.

But Shaun Peter Rayson, 42, of Stricketts Court, Cockermouth, who owns several houses in the UK and abroad, claims he has been trying to get hold of it since 2006 or 2007.

He says he made owner Donald Waite an offer of £85,0000 a few years ago which was turned down.

“I have tried for five years to buy that property. I spoke with him [the owner]. His solicitors were dealing with it.

“It would mean everything to me. I would build my dream family home. I would demolish the house and it would improve the area. I want to build a big five-bedroom detached property.”

But Allerdale council has confirmed that it cannot sell the land or the building to a private buyer.

“Should an individual be interested in purchasing and renovating the property, they would need to contact the owner,” a spokeswoman said.

A search of the Zoopla property website reveals that neighbouring houses in Brigham Road are valued at between £280,939 and £311,595.

Mr Rayson estimated that it would cost him up to £15,000 to demolish it and £170,000 to build a new house on the site.

He said he wanted to move into the re-developed home with his partner Tracey and her three children – Cory, 14, Kye, 12, and Quin, 10.

He also has children from a previous relationship – 15-year-old Liam and 12-year-old Olivia.

Mr Rayson has a track record of building new homes in derelict areas.

He bought two houses on Pearl Road in Salterbeck, Workington, from Impact Housing, demolished them and built two new bungalows on the site.

He said: “There was a fire on one of those and the other was derelict but the bungalows there now are two of the nicest up there.”

It is understood that Mr Waite, originally from the Cockermouth area, inherited the house when his mother died but had not returned to the area.

An old friend said that he could not believe Mr Waite would have let the home go to wrack and ruin.

But a council spokeswoman has confirmed that the owner is alive in the Derbyshire area and that they have spoken to him. She said the council had repeatedly tried to get the owner to take action without success.

The council had also contacted housing associations on the owner’s behalf and at least three were interested.

The council will charge the owner for the cost of demolition and outline planning permission will be sought to ensure a home can be built on the land.

A start date for the works has yet to be confirmed.

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

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