A FRUSTRATED town councillor has labelled absent landlords a 'blight on the town' after a former care home has been allowed to deteriorate into an eyesore.

Copeland and Egremont town councillor Mike McVeigh and local residents are angered that the former Castle Mount site, at Bookwell, has been left unmaintained for around 18 months, leading for it to become an 'overgrown eyesore'.

Cllr McVeigh said: “Egremont residents are sick of looking at this site, with another absent landlord blighting our town.

“In Egremont we’ve been let down so much by landlords living down the country and requests have been made to have it tidied up and nothing has been done at all. There too many absent landlords in the area. These properties are sold at auction up and down the country and nine times out of ten the people don’t seem to know where it is.”

James Ashworth, a director at Landwood Property Auctions, said that the site would be coming up for auction later this month. He said: “We are offering the property for sale on September 30, with a guide price of £280,000. We have had interest shown for redevelopment and a strong interest from the care sector.”

Cllr McVeigh said he would like to see it brought back into meaningful use, which would be good for the area.

Local residents shared similar views.

Yvonne Groggains said: “It’s a bit of an eyesore, it needs a new purpose. If a care home was interested in the site that would be good as there is a need. When the new care home was built there wasn’t as many places.”

Angela Peet said: “It looks awful and it’s been like that for months now. It needs the grass cut and the bushes sorted out. It’s just been left to rot. It was so nice. Everybody thinks it needs tidied up.”

Neal Peet said: “As long as something happens with it I don’t mind if it was a developer or a care home.”

Will Sherwen described the site as an eyesore. He said: “It’s scruffy, an eyesore, it needs sold and flattened or put to good use.”

Castle Mount care home was sold by Cumbria County Council at auction on June 19, 2019 and a month later was advertised for rent under the property guardian scheme, which offered people over the age of 18 and in employment rooms to rent for £40 a week. However this scheme did not materialise.

The owner of the building, who is based in Birmingham, was approached for a comment.