North East Lincolnshire Council is launching a campaign to fix up rundown buildings along one of the main roads through the borough.
Operation Gateway aims to improve the street scene of the main gateway into the borough, the A180.
Focused on the stretch between Riby Square in Grimsby and Isaacs Hill in Cleethorpes, the Council will encourage owners of unkempt and potentially dangerous street-facing properties to make improvements.
This will be done in phases during the next two years through a combination of education, advice and, if needed, enforcement action.
Most property owners take care of their buildings, but a small number of properties are neglected and pose a risk to the wider area.
Problems include windows almost falling out of their frames, broken or missing render, flaking paintwork, shrubs growing in brickwork, missing gutters and drainpipes and vegetation in the gutters and on the roof.
Not only are dilapidated buildings an eyesore, they can also pose a risk to passers-by, harm the value of surrounding properties, and become beacons for criminality and anti-social behaviour.
The Council is looking for positive case studies from property owners who are investing in their buildings along this road. To find out more email [email protected]
Cllr Ron Shepherd, portfolio holder for Safer and Stronger Communities at North East Lincolnshire Council, said:
“I’m grateful to all the business and homeowners who are taking care of their buildings, they’re leading the way and setting the right example.
“We need more property owners to take ownership and take pride. If we don’t stop the blight now, it can spread and affect a wider area.
“That’s why we’re taking action to stop these neglected buildings spoiling the area for everyone else.”
Cllr John Fenty, portfolio holder for Regeneration, Skills and Housing, added:
“The Council and its partners are attracting millions of pounds in investment to the area through the initiatives such as the Great Grimsby Town Deal, the Coastal Communities Fund and the growing offshore energy industry and it’s time that property owners along this key route do their bit too.
“There’s a growing sense of ambition and a real drive to do the best for the community and through this initiative the Council wants to showcase the vital role to be played by property owners and businesses in improving this area.
“About 20,000 vehicles drive along the A180 in Cleethorpes every day.
“We need to make a good impression to local people, visitors and investors and that means making the town safe by fixing up dilapidated buildings.”
Aemon Alzalam owns The Gym in Cleethorpe Road, the business has been there for three years. Aemon chose to open his business in the area because of the good price of the building and the busy, central location. He said:
“There are lots of good things happening in the area with the new community centre being built.”
Aemon said improving the street scene would help stop fly-tipping, make it more appealing to customers and increase footfall. He added:
“Getting all owners on board with the Gateway Project will improve the area and seek the change we need”
Barry Mundle owns Waltham Kitchen in Cleethorpe Road, the business has been there for eight years. Barry chose the location because of the convenient access to the docks and links to Immingham and Cleethorpes. He said:
“Property is cheap and so we were able to get a large building, which we needed.”
Barry said some of the closed shops especially need improving and there is an ongoing thought that the area is rundown. He added:
“It is the gateway to the town and there is a lot of free advertising due to the traffic, but the rundown shops need improving.”
New Mills Properties Ltd
Keith Newby is a director at New Mills Properties Ltd in Cleethorpe Road, the business has been there since 2013. Keith said:
“I was initially building a property portfolio for myself and a business partner and we bought the office and flats above. The business then evolved into managing other people’s properties and growing other Investors portfolios and the building fit the business.”
“It’s important for Grimsby and Cleethorpes people to feel proud of the area again. The gateway would be a brilliant spring board, driving or walking through a clean, smart and modern Cleethorpe/Grimsby Road will make people feel positive about the town and that the area is on the up.”
Cool Energy Holding Ltd
Chris Gray is managing director at Cool Energy Holding Ltd in Cleethorpe Road, the business has been there for five years. Chris chose the location because it’s the main road into the town and has lots of passing cars, which is a good way to advertise the business. He said:
“There are lots of run-down properties bringing the look of the area down. It is the main road into Grimsby and Cleethorpes, and it isn’t a good advert for our Town as it is. I think over the years it has been overlooked and money has been invested elsewhere in the town, which is a shame.”
“I believe this location has great potential. The businesses that are already based here have made a good effort with the building’s and the businesses themselves are going from strength to strength. We have a nice little business community here where we all look out for one and other. Investment is needed, the run-down buildings need bringing up to scratch. It should be a main road to be proud of.”
Operation Gateway is split into four phases, with each phase lasting six months:
Phase 1: Riby square to Humber Street
Phase 2: Humber Street to Park Street
Phase 3: Park Street to Lestrange Street/Suggitt’s Lane
Phase 4: Lestrange Street/Suggitt’s Lane to Isaacs Hill
Officers will write to all properties in each area to explain the aims and objectives of the projects.
Advice will be offered to owners of properties who need to make improvements, followed by legal warnings and ultimately court proceedings if they fail to take action.
Section 215 (s215) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 allows local authorities in certain circumstances, to take steps requiring land and buildings to be cleaned up when its condition adversely affects the amenity of the area.
In these circumstances, the authority may serve a notice on the owner requiring that the situation be remedied.
Once issued on the responsible party, these notices set out the steps that need to be taken, and the time within which they must be carried out.
If not, the authority has powers under s219 to undertake the clean-up works themselves and to recover the costs from the landowner.